octohawk octohawk

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Katie  Adventure-seeking Floridian and surface water biologist with perpetually dirty feet and too many dogs 🐊🌺☀️🌴🐶

Fern Gully swamp tromp 🌿

7/11/17. Little did I know when I woke up that morning that one year later, we’d be on the same car insurance policy.

These conditions though 🙌🏻

Underwater views 🐚 Now that the scallops are cleaned, the gear is cleaned, the boat is washed and put away, and I slept for almost 9 hours 2 nights in a row, I’m looking forward to the next trip.

First day of 2018 scallop season down! We may have narrowly avoided losing our GPS track back into a shallow windy creek through oyster flats, I may have almost fallen asleep standing up in a restaurant waiting for my to-go order last night, I may have a cherry red backside right now, and I may still have gallons of scallops to clean and a boat to wash and put away, but it was worth it. As it always is.

Facebook memories is just teasing me with what I was doing a year ago.. I tried to weasel my way into spearing more when I got back from Bimini, but it’s about as easy as a kook surfer asking to be taken out to all the good breaks. In other words, ain’t gonna happen.

So thankful to have snagged these two pieces from @tattoosbyali before she moves to Canada. I had been wanting the horseshoe for a while, and figured what better time to get it than when my sister was moving back to Florida? And the chicken foot/skull was just too good not to get..

The good, the bad, and the ugly. It’s not hard to see photos of the good plastered all over Instagram, but it shouldn’t divert our attention away from the bad and the ugly. “Algae” is a really broad term thrown around a lot, but there are so many types of algae- macroalgaes that resemble plants, planktonic algae that cause harmful algae blooms in the water column, and periphytic algae like what’s shown in the video and grows on a substrate (to name a few). Not all algae is bad, there is a place for it in the ecosystem, but what we see all over Florida demonstrates an ecological imbalance, wherein heightened nutrient levels encourage heightened algae growth. The periphytic algae in the video is a very common problem here, affecting plants’ ability to photosynthesize and eventually killing them. Plants = habitat, so with them we lose whole ecosystems that are reliant on that habitat. (Recreation also destroys plant habitats due to trampling- most springs and spring runs that are shallow enough to walk in are now devoid of plants.) The decisions and lifestyle choices we make affect our surroundings, so if you want to see healthier springs, eat less meat and dairy (responsible for groundwater overuse/decreased spring flows and heightened nutrients), make sure your septic tanks are properly maintained and see what options you have to connect to a sewer line, reduce fertilizer use and don’t fertilize your lawn in Florida during the summer rainy months (it’s illegal anyway), never drink bottled water, be mindful of your household water use because what comes out of your tap comes out of our aquifer and means decreased spring flows, swim or paddle springs instead of walking in them and trampling them, and so on. The state government is working towards more Basin Management Action Plans (BMAPs) for our waterways every day, but they can’t wave a magic wand and fix everything because these are complex issues affecting our springs, and they can’t force us to be responsible, that’s on us. What’s important to you and what are you willing to do about it?

Doing a vegetation index today, @whenleifgivesyoulemons and I stumbled upon an Orlando relic- the original (I believe) 1946 sign from Tom & Jerry’s Bar. Yet another Orlando relic mowed down to become, of all things, a parking lot.

This guy. An Instagram caption isn’t enough to express what he means to me.

I’m sorry—I’M SORRY—I don’t want to keep posting about this damn cactus, but last night was really THE night. Flowers were literally blanketing this enormous tree and it was even more of a spectacle to behold than the night before. So interesting to compare these photos to the ones I posted yesterday.

The huge neighborhood night-blooming cereus bloomed yet again last night (and looks like it will one more time)!!! Thankful to see it again and to be there when folks were lighting it up, because my last round of iPhone photos did it no justice. Although there’s really no way to show the true magnitude and scope of this enormous specimen, or the collective beauty of all of these short-lived flowers blooming together for one night. It’s something you need to witness firsthand to grasp, and I’m grateful to have been able to.

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