ODE TO OUR HERITAGE REDBAYS
We knew the time would come eventually, but it’s still sad now that it has hit home. Our beloved “gateway” Redbay that greets everyone at the beginning of the trail has succumbed to the dreaded Laurel Wilt. You may have noticed on your drives to Chiefland, one after another, magnificent Redbays standing out from the copious greenery, completely brown and dead as can be.
I had hoped our relatively isolated island would somehow be spared from this blight, but the dreaded exotic beetle that creates fungus disease has found its way to our tree and many others on Cedar Key. I have heard reports of arborists being able to save an occasional tree with aggressive treatment, but otherwise this disease hits fast. One by one you can see whole trees suddenly turn brown in a matter of weeks.
I’ll miss having these aromatic bay leaves ready at hand to lend flavor to my cooking. In the meantime, there will be plenty of Redbay’s aromatic wood available to burn to lend its delicate flavor to smoked fish.
THERE’S A FLOW ON!
This morning I heard a great hum of buzzing bees. I looked up and realized the source was the Cabbage Palm Tree (Sabal palmetto) in my yard. It was laden with large fluffy white-yellow flowers in full bloom, and swarming with honey bees. “A flow” is how beekeepers describe when there is a large source of nectar available in an area.
Bees don’t just collect nectar and pollen from the flowers on the ground, but trees are bountiful source. Nectar, packed with sugar, is used to feed the full grown bees in a hive, while protein-rich pollen is collected to feed young bees, or brood. Extra nectar in the hive is converted into honey. You can bet that bees and many other pollinators will be hitting up the plentiful Cabbage Palm in flower on the Railroad Trestle Trail on their travels around the island.
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.
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:
The Seahorse Key Marine Ecology STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Camp for the summer of 2016 finished its week-long residential learning program this past Friday, July 15, 2016….and what a camp it was!
This camp would make one wish he were in high school again. Every activity is designed to instill substantive science lesson content and is supplemented by outdoor experiences to reinforce those concepts. Add to that, learning colleagues from around the United States. Add to that, pristine waters, clear skies, and expert teachers! Don’t know how a camp could be better!
The brainchild of Maria Sgambati, currently Assistant Director / Education and Outreach Programs at the University of Florida Seahorse Key Marine Lab, the STEM summer camp is in its second year. Sgambati’s goal is to use the “Lab’s resources and scientific expertise to enrich educational opportunities and understanding of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.”
Wasting no time, the both teachers and students departed for Seahorse Key on Sunday evening, July 10, aboard the Discovery, captained by Kenny McCain at 6 pm. The group then settled in, ate dinner, were welcomed, got to know one another a bit, and learned the ground rules, a la Maria Sgambati. By lights out at 10:30 pm, their readiness for the morrow’s lessons was assured.
WHO NEEDS BARK MULCH?
Who needs to spend money on expensive bark mulch when you have our first tropical storm of the season Colin providing a lift to all the debris the marshes have to offer? Colin didn’t pack the expected punch in wind or rain, but it sure gave us a headache of flooding all over town. We often have super high tides that lap against the base of the old railroad bed, but it’s not often that the water actually crests the trail. Colin left a little bit more rounded shoulders and a nicely-spread mulch that makes for a little more stable walking on the sand, and a marker of the power of Colin.
Auditions for Smoke on the Mountain to be held at the Chief Theater in Chiefland, 25 East Park Ave. on July 23 from 9 am – 12:00 pm and July 26 at 6 pm.
Smoke on the Mountain tells the story of a Saturday Night Gospel Sing at a country church in North Carolina's Smoky Mountains in 1938. The show features two dozen rousing bluegrass songs played and sung by the Sanders Family, a traveling group making its return to performing after a five-year hiatus. Pastor Oglethorpe, the young and enthusiastic minister of Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, has enlisted the Sanders Family in his efforts to bring his tiny congregation into "the modern world." Between songs, each family member "witnesses" -- tells a story about an important event in his/her life. Though they try to appear perfect in the eyes of a congregation who wants to be inspired by their songs, one thing after another goes awry and they reveal their true -- and hilariously imperfect - natures.
The Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge will undertake the full repair of Sanders Creek Bridge on the Dixie Mainline starting on 1 August, 2016. This could last two months; staff is working to shorten the time frame.
LEVY COUNTY LIBRARY SUMMER READING PROGRAM
June 27, 2016
On Your Mark, Get Set.....READ!