Somewhere in the house, a cell phone kept chirping now and then. I thought it was my friend Milinda’s, who had stopped by for a coffee and a chat. When I remarked that she was pretty popular, getting all those calls, her reply was, ‘it’s not mine.’ Turns out it was mine, and there was a voice mail from Diana, inviting me to come along on one of her Down Home Adventure Trips she captains. She had a vacant seat for the four-hour tour from Cedar Key to Suwannee on Sunday and was offering me a ride. She and her sister would invite me to come along when they went out clamming, but it had been years since we had done that, and so I jumped at the chance to get out on the water with her. The last time we had gotten together for photos was when she was preparing for a cross-country flight. So, not only had she gotten her pilot’s license, she had also earned her Master’s Coast Guard license and started her own adventure trips and tour operation. Of course she and her family are still doing commercial clam farming. So, there really isn’t anybody who is better prepared and knowledgeable to take people out and introduce them to this fantastic corner of the Gulf of Mexico between Cedar Key and the Suwannee River.
I continue to be fascinated by the majestic starkness of the landscape. Although we encountered flocks of white pelicans, turtles, ospreys, alligators, wild roses and other exotic blossoms, the landscape interested me the most. Since it is still early Spring the starkness of the marshes predominated. When Summer rolls around the vegetation becomes extremely lush, especially in some of the more narrow branches, as they flow into the Gulf.