Friday, December 23, 2011

Bear Goes Crabbing

 Emma and I took Bear crabbing out at Shell Mound yesterday. The actual crabbing part was an afterthought.

In truth, my focus was simply getting some water time in with my baby girl and big dog. Crabbing is pretty simple though ... some string, some chicken scraps, ... it seemed an easy addition to our list of things to do, or not do, on this trip.

... and there were all those chicken backs in the freezer marked "crab bait", taking up space. I know they were taking up space, because periodically, I was reminded of this fact.
 Bear pondered why anyone would toss a perfectly good piece of raw chicken into the Gulf of Florida, and then periodically pull it in, only to toss it out again.

It was a mystery to him.

A mystery to me also, since the crabs just weren't "feelin' it".
So after a while, Emma and I just released the chicken into the Gulf and enjoyed the day with Bear.
 Bear was surprisingly good for only his second canoe ride ever. Only once, when we passed too close to a shell bar with shorebirds packed beak to butt, did he cause a few moments of Tippacanoe and Tyler too.
 He stared down those birds and saved us from attack.
Or... at least that's what Emma and I told him.

He seemed to buy it.
 On one of the tiny uninhabited islands around Shell Mound, we stopped to stretch our legs and give Bear some water time.
 A piece of red cedar substituted for any of a dozen water toys we left at home.
 He retrieved, explored the shore, and just swam off into the Gulf over and over again ... doing what Labs do, what they love, what they need.
 He was having so much fun that when we told him it was time to go, he waded out into the water and struck a rebellious pose.

Eventually, he came to his senses and we loaded up for the paddle back to the excellent gravel launch at Shell Mound. Thank you USFWS, it is much improved and that composting restroom is spotless and odorless ... how the hell... anyway, ... good job.
 Emma got this shot of two happy guys after a good day on the marsh.

He (Bear) looks perky, but he's really pooped out and ready to snooze.
At least, he seemed tired, but a couple with a little girl dog pulled up at the ramp while we were strapping the canoe on to the trailer ... suddenly he was Mr. Perky again.

Good boy, Bear, good boy.


Marilyn Kircus said...

Glad Bear is so well behaved.

I took my daughter's lab paddling with me in my solo canoe. He did fine until he saw a duck that needed retrieving. I had to retrieve myself, the boat, the dog and the gear. Thankfully, I had him under better control the next day and he didn't retrieve the swan.

But my standard poodle was my paddle buddy for several years and I could always depend on her to stay on her pad.

Sayre said...

Constructing an odorless compost toilet is truly an art. I've been lucky enough to find a few campgrounds around the country that managed it well. Good to know that Florida's got some too!

Looks like a lovely day!

Anonymous said...

Hi FC,

What fun! Hasn't it been beautiful lately? I'll be in Gainesville this weekend. I'll wave at all the red JEEPS that I see. They'll wonder...who is that?


PS Have you ever thought about rescuing a lab? I have a friend who works for a lab rescue.

lesle said ... said...

It sure looks like Bear is using his tail as a rudder. At least I'd like to think so.

LaDivaCucina said...

Hi Florida Cracker!

Sorry if I've not been 'around' lately but you'll be happy to know I've been very busy with my work! I've had a party every week in December and am doing 80-100 for NYE party in a posh condo on the ocean on South Beach!

Just wanted to pop over to say Merry Christmas and all the best to you and yours in the New Year. I appreciate your posts so much, thank you for sharing your wonderful Florida life with us!


Floridacracker said...

Yikes, I hope you had a dry bag!
Thanks for using the Bear's name in the same sentence with "well behaved".
He is mostly, but he is hard headed sometimes.

This one was so amazing I sent Em into it just to see.
LOL! Merry Christmas

LOL! Jeep wrangler drivers wave at each other all the time so they will take it in stride.
Yes, I have tossed around the Lab rescue idea in the past.
Have a merry Christmas and thanks for the holiday email!

La Diva!
Thanks for dropping in. I'm glad your business is jumping.
Merry Christmas!

I think he does.
Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas to you and family from MyamuhNative.