I laughed and smiled. It was a beautiful and very cold day. I was so glad Ed had some time off. We were both having such a good time until I looked at the alert that came up on my phone…
“Ed you’re never going to believe this. There is an insurrection in Washington D.C.. A sea of Trump supporters are attempting to break into the Capitol.“
It was January 6, 2021 and I knew for Ed this brought back terrible memories. In the 1960s Ed’s family had emigrated from Argentina to the United States to escape a series of military coups.
Ed and I spoke for hours about the situation in the United States. Not much could be more depressing. Having Luna and Okee with us took off the edge. Before we all went to bed, Ed and I promised to get up tomorrow and enjoy Peck’s Lake. Peck’s Lake, as most all of us know, lies within the Jupiter Narrows and once was an inlet to the sea. Yes, historic maps show that many times the Atlantic has breeched this shoreline, most recently twice in the 1960s. The ACOE filled in this gap and today Nathaniel Reed Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge sits on these sands. You can reach this place by boat or a long walk north from Hobe Sound Beach in Martin County. If you like to canoe, you can put in at Cove Road. Peck’s Lake is one of 560 U. S. National Wildlife Refuges and lies in Martin County. Birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and fish call this refuge home.
A long walk along the beaches on the Atlantic side of the refuge is incredible, probably one of the only desolate beaches to be found on all of Florida’s east coast. Certainly, the area doesn’t look too different from 1696 when Jonathan Dickinson was escorted by the Ais Indians north. Tooling around on the Jupiter Narrows side, Ed and I encountered wonderful things and weird things. We witnessed many osprey nests; we saw an otter surface and dive alongside an oyster covered mangrove forest, we also saw seagulls eating from a strange looking, large-eyed fish carcass. When I called Indian Riverkeepeeper, Mike Connor to find out what this cut-up was he said it was a swordfish! Ed and I threw the fish back into the water and seagulls dove for it from every direction.-Below: Osprey nest. Above: Ed drives dingy with trawler, Adrift in background at Peck’s Lake-Look! An otter! -Swordfish head floating. Very strange! -Seagulls dive When Ed and I got home that evening, we also experienced no seeums or sand fleas and it was torture!
“Are you getting bitten?” Ed asked coming into the cabin.
“Not really. Let me go outside and check.”
By the time I had been outside for thirty seconds, my hair was full of sand fleas and I was slapping and scratching myself everywhere at once.
“Unbelievable! It’s been a long time since I felt them! When I was a kid growing up in Sewall’s Point and Stuart they were here!”
Ed and I ran inside and barred the door as the tiny creatures made their way through anyway covering the lights of the cabin. Ed and I ate by flashlight that evening and Okee and Luna thought they were in heaven. Ed and I didn’t even think about the state of the world, we were too busy scratching…
Videos: 1. Cove, Peck’s Lake; 2. Mangrove Tour, Jupiter Narrows, Peck’s Lake
*Pets stayed on boat. They are not allowed in the wildlife refuge 🙂
*Thank you to my mother who shared to old add about sand fleas from First National Bank, forerunner of Seacoast.