Once the day warmed up a little bit I drove over to the other side of the island. I especially wanted to stop off at the cemetery to find the grave of a long time Gainesville friend who had died earlier in the month. I was unable to attend his funeral and burial, but felt it fitting that I visit his grave to pay my respects.
I first went to the museum, talked to the volunteer rangers for a bit, and then wandered down to the shore to look for wood storks.
You can see how windy it was, even in some of the more protected parts of the islands.
Here's an old Cedar tree. A reminder of where I was.
Back at the cemetery, I parked my car at the entrance, but took the boardwalk route along the shoreline.
I left the boardwalk and went to find a way to the cemetery side of the wall.
Since I have posted photos from the Cedar Key Cemetery before, I only took a few random shots this time.
At the time, I had no idea where my friend had been buried. I knew he loved the water and was an avid fisherman, so I theorized the path along the shore was the first place I should look. If I made it all the way back to my car without finding his grave, then I planned to take a slow drive up and down different paths until I found it.
I spotted this stack of recently gathered floral ornamentation and correctly guessed that I was headed in the right direction. Indeed, I was very close.
My friend was from an old Gainesville family. His father was sheriff of the county many years ago, and my friend had a distinguished career in law enforcement, too. He was also a small business owner and an area activist who contributed to the less fortunate in numerous ways. I had not seen him for a few years, but during that time he had become quite ill due to cancer.
Since he had just been buried, there was no headstone or slab. All that currently marks the grave is a yellow star representing law enforcement, and a tiny plaque.
Across from his grave there were numerous flowers on the graves of others.
Walking back to my car now, I stopped to take a few other photos.
Many of the graves in the cemetery were adorned with the same types of flowers.
I'll soon post a picture of the WWII memorial in downtown. It is also decorated in the same way.
Oh my goodness htmb - beautiful beautiful photos - Those pelicans really know how to strike a pose! Looking closely at the 'beak' I notice the very tip looks like a claw. This must be a special tool for the pelican.
Your third to last shot of the shoreline has me curious about the black rock?on the waters edge. Is that volcanic? It looks like porous bubbly oozings from a volcano but you don't have any like on the Comoros islands.
Tod, the pelican's hook is called a mandibular nail. It's used to catch and kill prey, to preen and to intimidate. It's also used by males to hold the female pelicans by the back of the head when mating.
I keep forgetting to ask about that black rock. To me, it appears to be a part of a long lost structure, since there are also wooden pilings out in the water in front. I seriously doubt it is native to the area, but will try to remember to check the next time I'm back.
It's too bad this place has never reopened after damage from a fire. It has nice views.
The flags were still at half-staff in memory of the victims of the Paris attacks.
Here's the WWII Memorial next to city hall. Since it has the same flowers of those at many of the grave sites in the cemetery, I'm guessing there was a mass decoration for Veteran's Day.
Back at the cove outside my rental, the osprey has brought a large fish to munch on for the rest of the afternoon. Unfortunately, it's perch is just out of camera range for clear shots.
I have a habit of periodically checking out the window, especially during low tide, because I'll often find something new has moved in the lagoon to forage for food. For a moment, I thought the spoonbills were back.
I really didn't want to leave. Cedar Key is one of those very slow places that, if you failed to turn on the television or follow the news on the Internet, you would have no idea of current world events. It had been nice to retreat for a bit, but I needed to get back and start preparing for Thanksgiving Day with my family.
I managed to see the flock of roseate spoonbills one last time before I left for Gainesville. They were as far away from me as possible in the lagoon. I assume they were looking for protection from the cold wind. Still, they were out of proper range for my zoom.
A veritable coffee table book of a thread, Htmb! The bird pictures alone would have made this stellar viewing, but the rest of it is equally beautiful and made for a perfect visit to Cedar Key. Love those last two money shots as the perfect ending, but all of the flight shots are thrilling. I think the only problem with this wonderful presentation is how much you have made us yearn for a sunny island paradise at this tail end of the year.
This is truly a magnificent thread, which I just caught up with since I had fallen behind. The variety and number of birds is really amazing, and the fact that they clearly pose for you makes it obvious that they anxiously await each of your visits and preen themselves beforehand.
I am pop-eyed with enjoyment and admiration, Htmb. You already know what a fan I am of your photography, but I think you managed to blow your own self out of the water with that pelican sequence. It's not just glorious photographically, but a fascinating study of behavior and anatomy. Well, it's all super and interesting, but I also want to mention the great 3-D dead pine branch picture -- nice! Thank you for this wonderful new year's gift.
Thank you, Kerouac, for sending me this LINK to another forum listing "Ten Under the Radar Florida Beach Towns to Check Out this Winter." Number six on the list is Cedar Key. What I really like about the post is the wonderful photo of the main part of the town. It shows how Cedar Key is a mass of numerous little islands.
We're going to try again this winter to get to Hernando FL. I asked our friend there if she'd been to Cedar Key and she was enthusiastic about the stores and galleries. I think I'd like to see what's at the water's edge.