I'm not bashing those pursuits, they just didn't capture my interest the way catching stuff was able to do.
Even today I'm a dipper. Let's go.
Fish Dipper/Rat Smuggler/Pup Smuggler/Plant Rescuer/Rustler
Goal number one was to capture Gambusia for mosquito control down at the pond. Goal number two was to capture some of our beautiful native fishes to bring back for photo sessions in the photography aquarium ... more on that device tomorrow.
This is the perfect spot. Down here under US-19, a small creek is flowing through thick aquatic vegetation. A good strong D-frame dip net is needed here so you can work it vigorously through the veggies. That's where the freshwater shrimp, dace, mollies, flagfish, and who knows what else are waiting.
A little closer to Gulf Hammock is this beauty of a spring fed creek. The water here is crystal clear, but it has to flow through a large growth of hydrilla, a noxious exotic weed. Cleaning this out would be a fun community service project.
Just watch for gators.
This is the kind of place with clear running water that the freshwater flounder known as "Hog Chokers" love. To catch one, you need to drag that dipnet across the gravelly bottom.
Did I catch one?
Maybe I did ...I'll show you tomorrow. The grey skies were not good for fishy fotos today, but the bucket was loaded with fascinating fishlings to photograph manana.
Patience grasshopper ...
At the Gulf Hammock Mall ( a Circle K next to the tiny post office) there's a road that takes us through low, swampy woods and over a bunch of creeks. It was down this road that I switched gears from fish dippin' to plant rescue/rustling.
I'm pretty sure that the cane growing wild in the Gulf Hammock area is the native Arundinaria gigantea. Mostly, it always seems to be growing behind the posted fence lines, but today I found two shoots that had escaped the bounds of private property and crept out into the road shoulder. Since they were guaranteed to be mowed by the road department, I took it upon myself to rescue them and bring them home.
I dug up about two feet of healthy runner on each cane and planted them in one of my native plant nursery beds out in the "garden". My garden has become a coontie nursery and now it will be nurturing some native bamboo until I can begin establishing it around PFHQ. I love bamboo, native and non-native, and I have wanted some of this stuff for a long time.
I generally don't dig up roadside plants, but if they're doomed anyway, I do step in sometimes. I have a thriving clump of atamasco lily and some blue flag iris that I collected ahead of one of those ditch scraping machines last year. It's painful to watch one of those very efficient machines scraping up pickerel weed, iris, and duck potato, knowing it's all just being dumped somewhere.
Driving back from Gulf Hammock with my bamboo booty and bucket o'beautiful fish, I detoured off of US-19 and took a back road through the tiny community of Otter Creek. The "OC" used to be a thriving sawmill town, but now it's just a quiet little close knit community. I try to drive through and shoot it once in awhile, because I'm always afraid one day it will change or vanish.
The tiny vacant church above is slowly being reclaimed. I don't know if there are plans to rescue it or not.
This OC residence is well on it's way to ruin.
Don't you wonder about it's past and the folks who lived here?