This past week while the GOP held their convention in Tampa, something truly amazing happened — well, didn’t happen. The massive protests and violence that were predicted, based upon the angry mood of the country, Occupy demonstrations and encampments nationwide, and of course, past history of senseless violence seen at previous conventions, just didn’t happen in here in Tampa. Folks are already scratching their heads and theories are likely to abound regarding underlying causations, statistical data, and every manner of analytical scrutiny.
I submit to you that Tampa had a secret weapon….
I’ve only been bayou dock sittin’ for about three months. Before that, I did river dock sittin’ at Florida’s Fanning Springs State Park, on the banks of the Suwannee River.
The Suwannee River is one of the most active waterways in northern Florida, both for recreational boaters and spawning sturgeon. This is fun for the sturgeon, no doubt, but it can be extremely dangerous for boaters. During the winter, sturgeon choose to stay in the warmer Gulf of Mexico water, but starting in April they spend about eight months in the river. Part of the sturgeon mating ritual seems to be jumping out of the water to a height of six or more feet, with a resulting loud splash on landing. This display, apparently a means of locating a mate by making as big a splash as possible, is interesting to watch during the summer months. The estimated average weight of leaping sturgeons is about 40 pounds, but some as large as 8 feet long weighing 200 pounds have been seen.
Some folks think that the vibrations of a boat’s engine causes the fish to jump more in the vicinity of a speeding boat. A 35 or 40 pound sturgeon landing in a boat being operated at speeds of 25 mph or more can be dangerous. In 2006, signs were posted at all boat ramps on the river, warning boaters to operate their vessels at slow speeds. There have been several deaths and a good many serious injuries over the years from collisions with the big fish, which have hard, bony plates instead of scales. A year or so ago the rider of a jet ski was taken down by a jumping sturgeon, and last summer a lady was seriously injured when a sturgeon landed in her lap.
At that, Gulf sturgeon are pretty small, as their tribe goes. I just ran across this article in the Canadian issue of the HuffPost GREEN online publication. It was taken from the Canadian Press and tells of a huge sturgeon caught in Canada’s Fraser River last Monday. You can read about it and see a photo at the following link.
This here is one of them emmy grants, a lizard from the islands called a Caribbean Anole. Them buggers is all over Florida and are crowdin out them little green fellers you usta see all the time. Let’s us pass a law sayin no more emmy grant lizards.
A small blue butterfly that lives along the Florida coast is the latest addition to the Endangered Species List, federal officials announced this week.
Disney World and the other Orlando attractions have done wonderful things for the Florida economy — in some of Florida. Along US 27 south of Orlando, not so much. Between Disney and the Florida Turnpike’s straight shot to the Gold Coast, south central Florida was relegated to agriculture and retirement communities.