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29 February 2012 @ 12:26 pm
finishing February  
Once again, I've been putting posts on Facebook but now need to repeat them here so my journal stays up-to-date. Here they are...

Sunday, February 12th, 2012:

I'm sitting with the sun coming through the forest branches into my new boat window. I spent yesterday and Friday dredging the inlet so I can be back here in normal lower water levels. The wind has been brutal so I'm glad to be in here among the trees. Three lamps are burning because the low was 31. Tonight might be the coldest night of the winter.

Three lamp are needed to stay warm on the boat when it gets below freezing.

Friday, February 17th, 2012:

This fourth day is supposed to be the last these scary airboats from the Army Corps are spraying the hyper-invasive Water Hyacinths in this stretch of the tributaries. I smell the stuff in the air and I feel really crappy. I will be flushing the toxins out of my system probably for over a week. The entire Saint Johns River and all the adjacent waters would be destroyed by these horrible plants if they didn't do this. So, I am VERY conflicted about this.

Saturday, February 18th, 2012:

me removing invasive Water Hyacinth (no nasty herbicide):

Sunday, February 19th, 2012:

There are several of these on my acre...trees that grew above and engulfed old stumps. My theory is seeds landed on the rotting stumps during flood conditions, took root, then managed to extend their roots into the main soil as the water slowly receded. These waterways were still logged until the 1960s. These stumps might be remnants from that. I've unearthed sawmill trimmings preserved in the muck in my little inlet.

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012:

After just two days cruising about, I'm retreating back into my inlet and may not be back out for four days, based on forecasts. The Jet Stream has moved so this is the new pattern apparently: cold fronts every six days followed by quick re-warming. The result is just two days out of six that aren't windy. At least there is more rain this way, so maybe the drought won't redevelop after all. Oh, well -I may be returning to Ohio as early as three weeks from now anyway. If I remain "penned in" like this until then, I'll really be gung-ho to get back. I'm already feeling anyway the old familiar moving on urge that has always made me such a traveler. My friend here who is also a Buckeye reminded me of the yards up there with "real grass and real dirt". She meant in contrast to the scruffy thin lawns down here where there is only sand. I keep thinking every day again now about my friends and family, and the other river, and the downtown places and bike trails.

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012:

How to make an instant bench in a Cypress-knee woods:

1. Find old 2x4.

2. Straddle two Cypress knees of roughly equal height.
(On hikes you can carry the 2x4 to have a bench anywhere.)

9AM, Wednesday, February 29th, 2012:

This winter I've seen few gators, just knew they were around if I heard one splash up in the weeds. This morning was different. -I cruised into South Lake at a crawl and looked through the binoculars and realized a gator was slowly coming towards me. He got to about five feet from the boat and just stared, then slowly dived and swam under the boat. When he was close I estimated his head was two feet wide!