The Good, the Bad & the Ugly…

Yesterday started fine, in all senses. Andrew and Ron went fishing late morning (after promising me that they wouldn’t be going out far in the strong wind). I visited the Hawk Watch at Curry Hammock, a wildlife park just up the road.

Red Shouldered Hawk

A rescued Red Shouldered Hawk

Every year thousands of hawks migrate through the Keys to South America. I met a few of the guys who were doing the count, and in the hour I was there they counted a good 200 hawks flying over – and they could ID every one of them. Very impressive.

I also met up with one of the local bird rescue volunteers who was looking after a Red Shouldered Hawk, that had been injured by power-lines (see picture above). Unfortunately one of it’s wings was amputated so it wouldn’t be going back to the wild, but the local Home Depot (B&Q) were building it a large “habitat” at the bird centre for free.

Next I headed off to the Turtle Rescue Centre. The centre was started by a guy who retired to the Keys in 1986. He bought a run down motel called the Hidden Harbour Motel, which happened to have a very large seawater pool. He started by keeping a few fish in the pool until he was brought an injured turtle. After a few more injured turtles arrived he decided to set up a Turtle Hospital and Rescue Centre on the profits that he made from the Motel.

Hawksbill Turtle

A rescued Hawksbill Turtle

Most of the turtles have either been injured by boat propellers (the boats key into their shell), fishing nets (the nets twist round their flippers and neck), fishing hooks (swallowed or caught in their eyes or mouth), or a killer disease called fibropapilloma (which causes tumours on the outside and/or inside of the turtle).

They rescue Loggerhead, Green, Hawksbill, and Kemp’s Ridley turtles. About 20 two-week-old baby sea turtles were due to be released the next day. The centre looks after them for a couple of weeks and then takes them out to the rich food areas a mile or so out to sea. As you can see they were very cute….

Baby Hawksbill Turtle

A baby Hawksbill Turtle

What I haven’t mentioned is that while I was at the Turtle Centre it started to pour with rain. Unfortunately my video camera got wet, and by the time I got home it had decided that the Florida rain for just too much for its insides, and it wasn’t going to power-up…. When the boys came home from fishing I was in such an “ugly” mood (hopping mad with myself for taking my camera out in the rain) that both of them looked at me like I was an alien and avoided me for the rest of the evening (probably very wise!).

This morning I fed Lizzy the indoor lizard on flying ants (she loved them) but I really must devise a way of catching her and returning her to the garden. Maybe an empty plastic water bottle baited with flying ants?

Lizzy the Lizard

Lizzy the House Lizard

The rest of the day was spent reading, relaxing, eating and chatting – oh and buying a new video camera! This evening I sat with Andrew on the balcony as he fished and I watched the pelicans fishing in the sunset (he caught a small Ray, they caught a ton of minnows). I even managed to make myself a nice cup of tea (tea doesn’t taste the same here for some unknown reason) by boiling bottled water and heating up my cup… it was “almost” heaven!

Andrew Fishing

Any fish yet?


~ by Jane on October 15, 2007.

10 Responses to “The Good, the Bad & the Ugly…”

  1. Umm – looks bliss, but know exactly what you mean about tea!

  2. Yes, I could never live here… not unless I managed to perfect my Florida tea-making and imported rich tea biscuits… very sad, I know, but I really wouldn’t be happy without them.

  3. …exactly!

  4. Looks wonderful – just sitting there doing nothing (apart from fishing of course!!). The weather looks OK in the pictures, its not too bad here today – sunny and quite warm for October.

    Keep on relaxing and enjoyng the fishing, see you both when you get back


  5. Hi Lyn. The weather is really hot today, must be 90 degrees as the wind has dropped. Very humid as well…. but not complaining. Not looking forward to the cold English weather when we get back. Andrew has just made the “house lizard” fall off the table, so I’d better go and rescue her….

  6. Hi Jane,
    Did you manage to dry out your camera? Can imagine the ‘face’ the boys were met with when they returned!!
    Am really enjoying your nature notes – we (Jack and me) saw six deer when we were out yesterday morning. They are very much more active at the moment – its that time of year! First frost of the season this morning.

  7. Hi Chris. No the camera is buggered! had to buy a new one…. I wasn’t a happy-chappy. I’m looking forward to going out and tracking some good old fashioned English wildlife once I get home. I bet the deer looked lovely… not looking forward to the frost though (still 90 degrees here). Take care. Jane

  8. Rachael Ray Recipe

    Thanks for the nice read, keep up the interesting posts..

  9. This site is amazing. The best picture is of the sea turtle.

  10. Thanks Rachael and Anonymous… the sea turtles were great. Jane

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