Red Tide from Pam on 15 Nov '18

Good to see that you're not having to dock in wall to wall dead fish, Janice. What a great service those clean-up-the-fishes guys are performing. Will colder weather stop the red tide? I feel bad for you, everyone, the fish and all the other wildlife this is harming.

Red Tide from Captain Bligh on 15 Nov '18

I understand that Red Tide has been coming and going for hundreds of years and that the powers-that-be have no clue as to what causes it. The tweakers would like to blame it on government stupidity or global warming but anyone who can walk and chew gum realizes that these things have nothing to do with it. Red Tide is apparently just one of those freaks of nature. On the news last night was a Red Tide report about how it kills the birds that eat the Red Tide poisoned fish. I regard your feeding hot dog wafers to Isis and your other birds as an act of mercy, so they do not have to eat the Red Tide affected fish around you. God Bless.

Ibis from Claudia on 15 Nov '18

Oh my gosh that is the cutest picture of ibis . She is so close and looks so tame - but grumpy. Looks like she is mad her dinner is late. Adorable!

You're correct Pam from Janice aboard Seaweed on 17 Nov '18

It is not just the dying fish, in and of itself a bad thing. It is the critters that rely on that portion of the food chain. My birds are fortunate -- and I am not the only one feeding them. But some do not eat here -- the Anhingas for instance are the diving birds that swim under water and eat the fish they catch. Those are in peril.

So far, the two that have been living in the mangrove behind Seaweed seem fine. I watch and worry about them.

I have not seen any pelicans for quite some time. The seagulls are here, but in smaller groups.

With the colder waters, I expect the tide will abate. It does seem less red/brown today than it had been. Our tide because I am so close to the Gulf of Mexico filters under the peninsula on incoming tides. I believe that coming through the sand has some cleansing effect. We still are not back we should be, though it appears the water is less dark than it was last week. My eyes are not quite so gritty too, though that may be because I have adapted. The nose is still wet (which could be a result of the paper tree shedding bits of fluff everywhere!

I spent this afternoon washing the fluff off Seaweed and the boat I'm rafted to. Then I refilled my water tank. I like to keep it topped off.

Thanks so much for your comment. I didn't see them -- had checked the page without refreshing. Argh.

All is well here. The weather is cooler and far more pleasant. I am looking forward to McDonald's in the morning. Several of us are meeting there for breakfast. Yeah! And yes, it is off my diet plan (only eating between 2 and 6) but when out I go with the flow. I don't get out much so it is not a real problem. I'm down to 115 closing in on 111 (the next goal) so have more flexibility in that sort of thing. Yes, numbers! (It was truly dreadful a year ago February)

The thing is, as a full-grown adult, post children, I weighed 103. Supposedly the "experts" say it is normal to gain ten pounds between adult and the rest of your life. So technically 113 would be okay. It is a prime number. So too is 103 -- either will suffice. At least that's the goal. We shall see.

Thanks again for your note. This is probably Too Much Information. I'm up late so running on at the fingertips. Doing the final tweaking on the next article. And having fun. It's almost Thanksgiving, and then Christmas. I am so Excited. Can't wait to decorate. Your friend in the south, J.

Thank you Captain Bligh from Janice aboard Seaweed on 17 Nov '18

The birds do seem grateful. And bossy. They start thumping above my bunk on the cabin top early in the morning. Isis only shows up in the daytime. The night herons are more insistent regarding food. I'm going though more than one package of hotdogs every day. I see Isis sitting on my swim platform hunting.

I saw her poking at a plant hanging in a basket. That is where I turned loose the frog so I suspect she was trying for him. The frog episode is an upcoming vignette. Not every living creature is welcome aboard Seaweed. Frogs are not!

Thanks Cap'n Bligh for your comment. I appreciate that.

Isis is tame Claudia from Janice aboard Seaweed on 17 Nov '18

Isis will eat out of my hand. She is very delicate, carefully taking each hotdog wafer from between my fingers. She is never "grabby" unlike one of the night herons.

One of the night herons is very rough for the first few pieces. I use a glove (one of those cheap garden gloves from the Dollar Tree) at first until he's eaten a few pieces. Then he settles down and is careful. The Dollar Tree gloves incidentally are great for beachcombing and picking up items from the water. They ahve little bumps on the palm section and are thin enough to be useful. For me, they fit fine. I have small hands though.

As for Isis, yes she does tend to get that grumpy face. She doesn't much care for waiting. The other birds are larger and more aggressive so I tend to stand between her and them. That offers her a bit of protection. With food in short supply, the night herons are not as magnanimous as they had been. And truly they were never all that pleasant when it came to sharing their food. The only ones they are wary of are the Great Blue Herons.

I quit feeding the blue herons as they are so large and leave HUGE deposits. Ugh.

As for Isis, she takes her slices about 1/8" thick. Those seem to go down easiest. She used to drink when swallowing a thicker piece. Now I try to keep them thin for her. She is still hunting though so that is a good thing. A concern I have is that there be enough fish left to support the larger critters on the food chain. For a time I was seeing quite a few of the 2" long babies. Without those to repopulate the canal, well, it will take time.

Like all things natural, where one species leaves it is soon replaced. The populations go up and down as a normal course of events. Some years there will be tons of conch, and then none for the next few. The same with lobsters, and shrimp, and, and, and!

In the meantime, I do what little I can to help. The weather cooled and that should do well for the water situation. I don't recall red tide being prevalent during cold seasons though some of the experts say different. We shall see. In the meantime, the water seems a bit greener today than yesterday. It was REALLY BAD for a week or more here. Terribly brown/red and so dark ... now it is less so. The fellows that are clearing the canal were out again today. Anyway, thanks Claudia for your comment. I really appreciate it! Take care. J.

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