PRICKLY PEAR IN TRANSITION
I’ve heard stories from my fifth-generation neighbor about attempts to run barefoot and free on Cedar Key, only to hobble home in tears with a foot full of invisible cactus needles. The Prickly Pear (Puntia humifusa) has been mowed into oblivion on most parts of the island, but we have a few specimens left on the Trestle Trail.
As long as it’s well away exposed skin, the Prickly Pear does have treats to offer. In the spring it has a beautiful yellow bloom that rivals any host of northern daffodils. Later in the summer its juicy purple pears will be ripe and ready to pick, peel and eat—just make sure to wear gloves or have a roll of duct tape around to get those tiny spines out of your skin. This year I caught the plant when its blossoms had just fallen, leaving the pear as an exotic-shaped cup, ready to catch any water the sky has to offer.
The 2016 CKAC Children and Teen Summer Art Program is near its end and students are ready to exhibit the fruit of their labors.
The Center hopes that the public will join the group on Friday, July 29, at 10 am, to see the Exhibit of Children and Teen Art.
Please, join the group and enjoy the exhibit!
SEA DAISY BLOOMS IN JUNE
Most of the year at tide line there is a mass of green succulents that ALL look the same until one happens to be in bloom. The cheerful yellow flower of the Sea Daisy (Borrichia frutescens) popped out this month from bulbous buds to give some i.d. assistance, and lured me in for a closer look. Its longer, more slender leaves with a little pointy tip are closer to the woody shrub Marsh Elder (Iva frutescens) than the many other succulents that grow at its level. Pink Purslane (Portulaca pilosa) and Sea Purslane (Sesuvium portulacostum), both of which bloom in hot pink , have much fleshier and rounded leaves. The feathery leaves of Sea Blite ((Suaeda linearis) and the jointed leaves of Glasswort (Salicornia sp.) look are even farther away in texture. These latter plumper leaves are edible and make a nice pre-salted addition to a summer salad.
I’m looking forward to seeing the parade of color coming up as other plants on the trail make themselves known in their flowering stages.
The deadline for submitting entries for the Old Florida Celebration of the Arts Annual Design Contest is just around the corner. Don't miss this opportunity to have your artwork featured on all 2017 festival promotional items including t-shirts, postcards, posters, ads and more. In addition, the jury fee and booth fee for the Spring Arts Festival on April 8 and 9, 2017, will be waived if the winning artist would like to participate in the event. This year's theme is "It's All about the Water."
Applications for the 2017 Old Florida Celebration of the Arts planned for April 8th and 9th, 2017 in Cedar Key, Florida, are now open through zapplication.org.
https://www.zapplication.org/event-info.php?ID=5000. Deadline: December 1, 2016
For more information, check out our website at www.CedarKeyArtsFestival.com
Tony’s Seafood Restaurant, at 597 Second Street in Cedar Key, thanked Cedar Key Police this past week by placing a sign out front of the eatery… complete with blue balloons.
When interviewed, Restaurant Manager Vickie Lowry, said “I’ve been watching the news, including Orlando and other places, and thought of the Cedar Key and the Cedar Key Police. We appreciate them.” Lowry’s boss fully agreed. Placing the sign and balloons on the street, “touched my heart,” said Lowry.
The July Artist of the Month at the Cedar Keyhole is Gary Finfrock. Gary’s specialty is functional pottery in an array of pleasing colors. Most pieces are two-toned, which enhances their overall appeal. Some of his works include his unique microwave bacon fryer and microwave grill. He also makes berry bowls, honey pots, garlic keepers, chip and dip sets, bowls, trays, mugs, and platters and plates and plate and tray sets. All of his work is reasonably priced and is extremely popular for gift-giving.
The Cedar Key Arts Center is proud to be opening its brand new addition for the Children and Teen’s Summer Art Program this Monday, July 18, 2016.
The new addition includes an approximate 20 x 40-foot room, an elevator, a restroom, as well as an outdoor working area underneath the building. The larger room has allowed the children’s art program to expand to 30 children and no waiting list this summer. The elevator has allowed children who are not able to walk the stairs to be included.
The completion of this building has been a multi-year project for the Arts Center and was made possible by the generous work and support of our community, a grant from Cedar Key Art Center founder Cathie Christie, and the fine construction of Ken Edmunds and Delta Coast Construction.
We hope that the public will join us on Friday, July 29, at 10 am, to see the Exhibit of Children and Teen Art and see the new addition.
Florida is often touted as the “Fishing Capital of the World,” and it is estimated that 2.4 million anglers flock to the coast to enjoy saltwater fishing in Florida each year. While this is great news for coastal economies, wildlife can suffer injuries from contact with fishing tackle, fish carcasses, and other garbage associated with fishing activities. In Cedar Key alone, hundreds of injured birds have been reported to city officials and FWC staff over the past several years – up to two per week according to Cedar Key City Hall staff. Many of the birds suffer preventable injures, such as accidental entanglement in fishing line or choking on improperly discarded fish carcasses. Until now, the demand for bird assistance was shouldered by only a few local Cedar Key residents, and no formal system existed to help these birds.
Regional Sea Grant Extension Agent Savanna Barry worked in cooperation with the newly minted Cedar Keys Audubon chapter, the Cedar Key City Commission, FWC staff, and Nature World Wildlife Rehabilitation Center to address this need through a new program. A training held workshop on July 22nd, 2016, marked the official launch date of the Cedar Key Bird Rescue initiative. A group of 21 people were trained in safe bird handling and de-hooking techniques, bird transport protocol, and incident report data collection. Licensed wildlife rehabilitator Mary Opall of Nature World Wildlife Rescue in Homosassa, Florida, brought a live pelican and demonstrated proper handling techniques. Workshop attendees were able to practice bird handling skills with Mary’s guidance and reported a 60% average increase in their confidence to properly handle and rescue birds. At the end of the workshop, volunteers participated in the release of the live pelican, which had been rehabilitated by Mary and her staff. In total, 13 trained volunteers joined a phone tree that will be activated when an injured bird is reported and will respond to calls as needed. “[This is] such a great collaboration,” wrote one volunteer, while another stated, “regarding the Bird Rescue Initiative, great ideas and long overdue.”
In addition to the training workshop and data collection, educational signage about bird-angler interactions will be placed at five locations around town in an attempt to reduce the occurrence of bird injury. The number and severity of reports over time will be tracked via incident reports and the hope for the program is that bird injury and death from unsustainable interactions with anglers will be reduced over the longer term. Cedar Key Bird Rescue is an example of a grassroots program that could be transferred to other coastal communities around Florida. Savanna Barry of the UF/IFAS Nature Coast Biological Station is tracking the success of the program and looking for opportunities to collaborate with other groups to initiate similar programs in other coastal towns.
The Cedar Keys Audubon Chapter’s Bird Rescue Training Program is scheduled for this Friday, July 22. Trainers, and experienced experts, Fish and Wildlife’s Tiffany Black, who works out of the Fitzpatrick Lab, and Dr. Savanna Barry, who works out of the Nature Coast Biological Station, will teach volunteers how to assist individuals who encounter compromised and injured birds. Their efforts will include instruction on how to handle or not handle the birds.
Cedar Keys Audubon asks that the community donate several items for “kits” to help save the birds. Items may be purchased at Walmart, Marina Hardware, or elsewhere. Cash donations are welcome. Checks may be made out to Cedar Keys Audubon Society.
The Cedar Key Bird Rescue effort needs the following:
LEVY COUNTY LIBRARY SUMMER READING PROGRAM
June 27, 2016
On Your Mark, Get Set.....READ!