Sunday, October 23, 2005

Sometimes I Find Things
















Sometimes I find things that make me so glad I came that way. This little memorial to someone's pet is one of those things.

It sits on the shore of Atsenia Otie Key just offshore of the island town of Cedar Key. Atsenia Otie (pronounced SCENE-OTIE) is a true island, you may only get there by boat, although a minimal boat like a kayak is plenty...an inner tube would do for the adventurous, but I like a boat.

You and I own Atsenia Otie together, it's part of our National Wildlife Refuge System. Other islands nearby that you and I own together are Snake Key, North Key, Seahorse Key, and Deadman's Key. As joint owners, none of us are supposed to make any individual changes to the properties....so the marker should not be there.

The FWS rangers have let this one stay since it showed up about 8 years ago.

I remember when it showed up, as I go to this island a lot. At the time, I thought "this will never last" because it sits just upland from the high tide mark...well within storm tide range. But it has lasted, even through last year's hurricanes...and it's been freshly painted.

When I first found it, I figured someone on a boat had lost their pet while cruising this coast and buried it on the nearest island. That could still be the case, but who lovingly repainted it?

So now after the years and the care someone has given it, I am more inclined to think it was someone in Cedar Key who lost their beloved Handra Leigh.

I still don't know what Handra Leigh was, but I know she loved grapes and someone loved her very much. Posted by Picasa

8 comments:

Wayne said...

My friend Dave, who died some years ago, and I, when we were students at FSU, spent many happy hours canoeing around what was then a fairly unknown St. Georgie Island and Dog Island. We often braved the tidal inlets and outlets to canoe to islands just outside the mainland, and then just wander around.

Now I live hundreds of miles from the coast but have my own pet sematary, with two dozen beloved pets buried and I add yet another little memorial carved in stone or preserved in concrete and I remember the first there as I remember the last.

Yeah, all they are is animals, but they caught my heart and I still remember it, all of it, from each and every one.

Floridacracker said...

Wayne,
I know exactly what you mean. Well said.

Laura said...

so sad. I remember Cedar Key, but I never had the chance to explore any of the other islands nearby.

I'm so glad the rangers have let this marker stay in place!

Hick said...

Ya know...my family teases me because I am so fond of my animals. My daughter tells me that I spoil my dog more than I spoil her. She's right, too.

Rexroth's Daughter said...

It's touching to see such a well-tended marker for a pet. I'm also glad the rangers have let this marker stay. That says a lot about what's in their own hearts, as well.

Floridacracker said...

Hick,
I spoil mine also. Can't help it!
The dogs that is...

RD,
I agree, it's nice to bend the rules once in awhile.

Laura,
It's a good place for the USS Vitaminsea to explore. Great farm raised clams.

Weary Hag said...

What a lovely tribute to their pet. What amazes me about this story is where in the world did they happen to find such a sturdy and perfectly shaped marker on such a tiny island? Wow.

thingfish23 said...

re: "what Handra Leigh was..."

It looks like it says K-9 at the very bottom of the marker.