October 16, 2015 – Cedar Key, Florida

It was a delightful layover day.  With the hospital appointments done and the RV shop appointment not scheduled until Monday, we used today for a leisurely outing to Cedar Key, Florida. It is a fairly long drive through the northwestern Florida countryside.  It is on the west coast of Florida, on the Gulf of Mexico, which in this case means no beaches to speak of.  The water here in the armpit of Florida is extremely shallow so there is no surf to create a beach. There is plenty of low land and marsh on the way out to a cluster of islands, Cedar Key being the farthest reachable by road.  We visited Cedar Key during the cancer treatment in 2012.

We had lunch at Steamer’s Clam Bar & Grill on the waterfront. The food was nothing special, but the table was perfect. Here is our view.

b01 Lunch View

Here, I looked over to the next table to our right. Our table is just the same, that is, hanging out over the water. That is the city fishing pier in the background.

b02 The Next Table

This is what it looks like, looking down over the far edge of the table.

b18 Looking Over Table

While waiting for the food and after I finished eating, I amused myself by taking pictures of the most magnificent and acrobatic of the bird world, the pelicans.  Andy laughed at me because I am always trying to get the “great” pelican shot, but mostly get pelican butts.  I got a few nice ones today though.

b03 Pelican Wing

b04 Pelican

I won’t lie; most of my pelican pictures turn out like this:

b05 Missed Pelican

or this

b06 Half Pelican

Today, I didn’t zoom in as much and just cropped the picture with Photoshop when I got it on the computer. I also set the camera to “burst” mode to take shots as long as I held the button down.  That made a big difference too.

We also saw two dolphins, but this was the best picture I got of them.

b07 Two Dolphins

When we finished eating, we walked to the fishing pier and I took a picture of the restaurant from the water side.  We sat at the right green umbrella.

b08 Steamers Clam Bar & Grill

Then I took more pelican pictures.

b09 Pelican Hop

b10 Pelican Second Hop

b11 Pelican

b12 Pelican

b13 Pelican

b14 Pelican

b15 Pelican

b16 Pelican

b17 Pelican

You may have noticed that all my pictures are of pelicans either taking off or landing.  That is because I am still hopelessly inept at finding them through the viewfinder when they are flying.

I made a new plant discovery today.  We were walking around the marina when I saw these large bushes that looked like mangroves next to the water, except that they had nuts or some kind of fruit on them.

b17 Avicennia marina or Gray Mangrove

Sure enough, I was able to find it with Google Images and it is a mangrove.  It is:

“Avicennia marina, commonly known as grey mangrove or white mangrove”

Thank you again Wikipedia.  Their article calls them grey mangroves. We have white mangroves in the keys, but I don’t ever recall seeing fruits on them.

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