need of a day away from computers, family, housework
and telephones, Judy
and I loaded sandwiches, Smirnoff, lemon wedges and
other necessities into the Gheenoe. The wind was
blowing hard, and severe weather was expected for
the afternoon, so instead of going on the river itself,
we decided to ride the Sweetwater Canal...
The line of trees
on the levy kept the wind from hitting us on the east-west
canal. The temperature was in the low 80's. For it being
the dead of winter, thats not so bad.
very few small alligators, but LOTS of birds, turtles,
fish, etc. The canal was really jumping!
sky was mostly overcast all day, with brilliant blue patches
breaking through every now and then.
This clump of cabbage
palms is sometimes an island, sometimes not. We were lucky
today. The water being way down, there was lots of dry
ground to walk around on.
We had our lunch
here, sitting in the shade and leaning back against a palm
A few airboaters
were out enjoying the day, too.
saw a snake crossing the canal at
one point, but didn't get concerned until it occurred
to us that he must have started out on our side. A little
too late to worry about it then!
We couldn't tell
what kind he was, but if he was a Cottonmouth he was a
small one. I have heard that the baby's venom is more concentrated
and deadly than the adults, so a small size doesn't necessarily
mean it is less dangerous.
Florida is very
flat, so the mound of dirt this clump of Cabbage
Palms is growing on is the closest thing we have to a
hillside. The dirt (sand, actually) is dredged up to
create the canals. The canals are created to help drain
some of the flat marshland so cattle can range and farmers
can grow crops.
<<< SideNote: I
always feel bad for the cattle out there, trudging through
the swamp. I have seen a line of cattle going through an
area where the water only appeared to be about 4 inches
deep - but with every step they would sink into the muck up
to chest level. They would pull a foot out with a great
sucking sound, step forward, and sink again.
If you are driving
an airboat you want to be cautious when approaching cows
with a bull in the herd. Bulls have been known to charge
an airboat to protect their cows. The airboat can speed
away, of course - assuming you have someplace to go. >>>
a few Lemon Drops we
went looking for alligators. (Proof that drinking doesn't
make you smarter.)
is tremendously hard to sneak up on an alligator in a small,
so we ended up just cruising, drinking Lemon Drops, and watching birds