We left for Cedar Key on Saturday afternoon for a short, two-night stay in a house on the water. Not surprising, but tropical storm depression Fred decided to arrive while we were there.
Being on the water, we were able to sit on the dock and watch the wildlife activity. It would have been heaven, if not for the no see ums which are biting midges. They were horrific. We sprayed ourselves with a natural spray which slightly helped. They are small enough to easily fit through screens, so sitting on the screened deck was not any better. They also made their way into the house, so I was smacking myself all evening.
We were particularly interested in photographing roseate spoonbills and had ample opportunity to do so. Several times, they came by the dock at the house and Regis got the following video of them feeding.
We planned to kayak Sunday morning but decided it was too windy. It was on the edge of being okay, but the last time it was on the edge of being okay, I had to be rescued. We wisely chose to check out the town instead. Later in the day at low tide, we drove around and found some roseate spoonbills preening and bathing in the water. It was a delight to watch them. When Regis spotted them and did a U-turn to get photos, the car behind us followed and the occupants jumped out and got photos also. While photographing, another car stopped to join us. Spoonies are beautiful birds with their lovely pink feathers and it was a joy to watch them flapping their wings and enjoying bathing in the water.
On Saturday night we dined at the Island Hotel Restaurant and loved the food so much we returned Sunday evening. While in the restaurant waiting for our food, all the customer’s phones received alerts at the same time. It was warning of a storm surge due to Fred. We had another amazing dinner and I highly recommend the crab bisque. Coming from Maryland, I know of several restaurants that serve outstanding cream of crab soup. Since coming to Florida, I have been deprived of that outstanding specialty. The crab bisque at the Island Hotel Restaurant was what I have been waiting for. If I could have purchased a bucket of it to bring home, I would have.
When we got back after dinner, I attempted to capture images of the amazing sunset on Sunday evening, but I had to keep going in the house because the no see ums were killing me. I also had to maneuver around a spider web so as not to disturb the occupant who spent so much time creating its elaborate web. I saw lots of bats that I was happy to see. I suspect no see ums are too small for them, but who knows.
On Monday morning, the surge was upon us. It was not too bad but we could see the water was higher than any time we have seen on our several visits to Cedar Key. We drove around to take a look. We were also disappointed that the only coffee shop failed to open. While in our motorhome, we can supply ourselves with our required latte and cappuccino every morning. Being out of our usual element, we needed to be supplied by a local establishment. We were bummed to start our day without our fix.
When we made reservations, we hoped to kayak regularly, but the weather made that a bad option. Once again, we loaded kayaks for a trip and did not get to use them. Oh well. We came up with an alternate plan to leave early and visit Sweetwater Wetlands in Gainesville on the way home. While there, we got lots of great wildlife viewing and saw some alligator nests. One of them had its resident momma alligator hanging around for us to see. Regis lugged his large lens and tripod around the long walk and was ready to get an electric scooter for future visits of this kind. I carried my “carriable” long lens while he lugged his behemoth and he got the better pictures.
We saw a momma deer and her two fawns and were saddened to see they had something wrong. There were growths (or something else) on their ears and sometimes face. It was sad to see. One little fawn was in worse shape than the other.