The weather looks perfect for a winter walk in the Refuge on Friday, January 16. This time we will walk on the River Trail and see what we will see! If you would like to come along, please meet me at the Refuge Headquarters parking lot at 10 am. We will walk along the road and the River Trail and see some gopher tortoise homes, the new bat house and look for birds.
Refuge Headquarters is at the north end of the refuge and is well sign-posted on highway 347. Enter the road from Hwy 347 and follow it to the headquarters buildings. Those who would like to carpool, please meet me, Donna Thalacker, at the Cedar Key park/beach parking lot at 9:30. I hope to see you then!
A Friends Science Team is being organized to create a database of refuge biota. The Team will use a smart phone application, iNaturalist, to record the data. Additional members are being sought. Contact Russ Hall at email@example.com for more information.
There is a new mural in Cedar Key by artist Travis Parks. The mural was jointly sponsored by the Cedar Key Arts Center, Friends of the Lower Suwannee & Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuges, and the 51st Annual Old Florida Celebration of the Arts, which will be March 28 and 29.
An Artist-in-Residence Program
Friends member and artist, Anne Lindgren, has been selected for the 2015 Seahorse Key Artist-in-Residence program. The program is a collaboration of the Seahorse Key Marine Lab, the Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge, and the Cedar Key Arts Center. Click here for more information about the program.
Anne’s focus will be to capture, through photography, vignettes of the flora, fauna and the unique environment found on the island. Her interest in interpreting nature using photographs can be seen in some of prior work and exhibits, including Weed Study: A Meditation.
The residency span several months, so she could observe the diversity of island life over time. She will particularly be looking at the mud flats and creatures that inhabited them during the negative tides. The work from this project will be on display in the Cedar Key Arts Center during April 2015.
A Photography Class
Friends member and nature photographer, Ann Kamzelski, will offer a photography workshop in February and March. It will include two evening classes at the Cedar Key Art Center on Wednesdays, February 11 and 25 at 7:00PM, and a field trip to Shell Mound on the Lower Suwannee Refuge on Thursday morning March 5. Ann's website is Photo Art by Ann.
Last week, Friends President Bob Hudson went fishing in the refuge. He does that often and it might not be news to report to you, except that he caught a fish he'd never seen before. It was a Sunshine Bass.
According to Dan Barrand, resident expert on staff of the Lower Suwannee Refuge, the State of Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission stocked the Apalachicola River with them a few years ago. They obviously worked their way down the coast and into our waters. A young man at the tackle shop in Gainesville told Bob they were seeing more and more of them in the Suwannee River. Being a hybrid cross between the Striped Bass and White Bass, they are sterile and cannot spawn. Dan says they are a “cold water fish” so that’s why Bob caught it mingled in with a school of Redfish this time of year.
This is a beautiful time to visit the Lower Suwannee Refuge. These are Bob's photos.