Tag Archives: sunset

Mullet Jump! St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon

A mullet jumps in the St Lucie River off North River Shores. (Photo Todd Thurlow, 10-10-15.)
A mullet jumps in the St Lucie River off North River Shores. (Photo Todd Thurlow, 10-10-15.)

Mullet are famous for being excellent jumpers. In fact, Florida Fish and Wildlife states “it’s often easy to identify their locations by simply watching for jumping fish.” Me? When I see a mullet jump, I have a tendency to personify thinking, “now there’s a happy fish!”

This beautiful jumping mullet-sunset photo was taken by my brother, Todd Thurlow, this past Saturday evening, October 10th, 2015  just off of North River Shores.

Former Stuart News editor and river advocate Ernest Lyons wrote about mullet jumping in his essay ” Never a River Like the St Lucie Back Then.”

There was never a river to compare to Florida’s St Lucie I when I was young….the river fed us. You could get all the big fat mullet you wanted with a castnet or a spear. If you were real lazy, you could leave a lantern burning in a tethered rowboat overnight and a half-dozen mullet would jump in, ready to be picked off the boat bottom next morning….at the headwaters of the south fork of the St Lucie….the waters were clear as crystal… (Ernest Lyons 1915-1990)

Today, the water of St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon are anything but clear, but “hail to the mullet that are still jumping!”

Sunset over the St Lucie, Todd Thurlow, 10-10-15.
Sunset over the St Lucie, Todd Thurlow, 10-10-15.
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Mullet: Florida Fish and Wildlife: (http://myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater/recreational/mullet/)

Ernest Lyons, Stuart News editor, writer and award winning conservationist: (http://www.flpress.com/node/63)

Todd Thurlow: (http://www.thurlowpa.com)

SFWMD’s St Lucie River history (http://www.sfwmd.gov/portal/page/portal/xweb%20protecting%20and%20restoring/stlucie)

Florida Sportsman, by Larry Larsen, Fishing Mullet Schools: (http://www.floridasportsman.com/2013/09/24/mullet-schools/)

Why Mullet Jump, by Terrie Gibson/Visit Florida: (http://www.visitflorida.com/en-us/fishing/articles/2013/february/8431-why-mullet-jump.html)

Stop by the Stuart Heritage Museum to purchase Ernest Lyons’ books with writings about the St Lucie River:(http://www.stuartheritagemuseum.com)

Sunrise, Sunset–St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon

Sunrise along the Indian River Lagoon, by John Whiticar, 2015.
Sunrise along the Indian River Lagoon. Photograph by John Whiticar, 2015.

“Sunrise, sunset, sunrise, sunset,
Swiftly fly the years,
One season following another,
Laden with happiness and tears…”

1st verse, of song from musical “Fiddler on the Roof,” 1964

 

The beautiful sunset and sunrise photos of our area’s photographers invoke a deep appreciation of our St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon, as well as the struggles and successes of our lives.

Sunsets and sunrises seems intrinsically linked to inspiration and reflection in all of us.

Thankfully, here in the Indian River Lagoon region, we can still see our sunrises and sunsets, although the health of our river, and thus our ability to enjoy the river, is  “impaired.”  This was scientifically determined by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) in 2000. (http://www.dep.state.fl.us/southeast/ecosum/ecosums/SLE_Impairment_Narrative_ver_3.7.pdf)

In Beijing, China, last year, the government erected a televised screen showing sunsets, as the people could not see their sunsets any longer— due to the tremendous smog in their city. What a price to pay for economic “success.”

China starts "televising" the sunrise in Beijing, 2014. (Source earth journal.com.)
China starts “televising” the sunset in Beijing, as the city is continually blanketed in smog,  2014. (Source earthfirstjournal.org.)

Oddly enough, on some level, we have experienced the same thing. On a level of world comparison, we have a “thriving economy;” however, somehow, over the past 100 years, we have “lost our river.” Yet in most of the adds one sees, the river still looks beautiful and healthy.

Right now, the Army Corp of Engineers (ACOE) is discharging water from Lake Okeechobee, while  the South Florida Water Management District canals C-44, C-24, C-23, and C-25 are also dumping polluted water into our estuary. All of this extra water has been “engineered” to come here so agriculture and development can thrive. Us included…

Sunset, St Lucie River, 2014. Todd Thurlow.
Sunset, St Lucie River, 2014. Todd Thurlow.

So, right now there is “no other way,” and the ACOE and South Florida Water Management District are locked in a cycle of struggle to send more water south when the entire southern area south of Lake Okeechobee is blocked by the Everglades Agricultural Area— other than a few canals, to “send water south.” Plus the water is too dirty for the Everglades—but not for the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon that is already “impaired.”

The “mighty” Kissimmee too has been “engineered for the success of farming and ranches and development in its  former watershed. It is being partially restored by the SFWMD;  this is wonderful, a testament of the ability of the system to recover if given a chance….

And after all, it’s not so bad here right? We can still see the sun…..AGGGGG!

Let’s continue to turn this ship; let’s continue to fix our own yards, towns, cities, and counties;  let’s keep pushing the State for a reservoir/flow way to store, clean and convey water south. As Eric Eichenberg, CEO of the Everglades Foundation said yesterday at the Rivers Coalition meeting, this is the “only way” as the Kissimmee River’s continued restoration is simply not enough to hold all the water.

“Sunrise, sunset….sunrise, sunset….”we are thankful and we are inspired….

Please write: Florida Senate Email for use of Amendment 1 monies: (http://www.flsenate.gov/media/topics/wlc)

 

Sunrise, Indian River Drive, 1-21-15, John Whiticar.)
Sunrise, Indian River Drive, 1-21-15, John Whiticar.)
Sunrise Indian River Drive, 1-21-15,  John Whiticar.
Sunrise Indian River Drive, 1-21-15, John Whiticar.
Sunset, St Lucie River, Todd Thurlow, 2014.
Sunset, St Lucie River, Todd Thurlow, 2014.

 

 

Rainbow Storm-Sunset, St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon

Sunset over St Lucie River, September 10, 2014 by Todd Thurlow.)
Sunset over St Lucie River with storm clouds and rainbow. (September 10, 2014 by Todd Thurlow.)

At another time of my life, I lived in North River Shores, in Stuart, looking west over the wide beginning branch of the North Fork of the St Lucie River. I remember feeling like I was seeing Stuart for the very first time, although I had lived here “my whole life.” The sunsets were the most beautiful I had ever seen. Amazing… Like the canvass of the Creator, night after night.

I thought to myself, why haven’t I seen this before? Sewall’s Point, Stuart, Jensen Beach all front row seats to this phenomenon of nature…but North River Shores? This view is beyond anything one can experience anywhere in Martin County…

The years passed, life changed, and I no longer reside in North River Shores, but ironically my brother’s family lives directly across from where I did reside. And my brother still looks upon this  sky, that upon occasion, will bring you to your knees in worship of something beyond this world.

My “little” brother’s name is Todd, (http://thurlowpa.com) and he took this photo Wednesday, September 10th.

I feel the rainbow in the storm clouds is most symbolic. There is alway hope, even in the brewing, impending storm…

The “River of Light” and John Whiticar’s Photographs, St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon

Sunrise Indian River Lagoon, John Whiticar.
Sunrise, Indian River Lagoon, Jensen Beach, John Whiticar, 2012.

There are two times of day that the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon is in her glory, sunrise and sunset. At these times, the “river of light” seems both new and ancient.  With the reflection of the sky on the water all the sadness of the river’s demise and destruction seems to fade. We are inspired.

The photos I am sharing today were all taken family friend, Mr. John Whiticar, of the famous local “Whiticar Boatworks” family, (http://whiticar.com).

John’s work captures the beauty of the Indian River Region in a way that is both personal and etherial. I thank John for allowing me to share his photos. You may have seen some of them on Facebook throughout the past years. He has also taken some horrific photos of the lagoon’s destruction, but today I will focus on the beautiful.

May you have a wonderful weekend, and when that moment comes and  you see the hand of the Creator upon the waters, please say a prayer or make a wish for a better future and for the rebirth of this spectacular place.

Sunrise/Sunset photos St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon. Beautiful.(Photos by John Whiticar.)
Sunrise/Sunset photos St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon. Beautiful.(Photos by John Whiticar.)

Image 7 Image 3 Image 1 Image Mail Attachmentdaibfbed Beach Storm 4All photos by John Whiticar, SLR/IRL. Whits Wharf Sunset 08-05-14

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I will be taking a blog break August 11-15th as I will be attending the Florida League of Cities Annual Conference. I am the chair of the Environmental, Energy and Natural Resources Committee for 2013/2014. (http://www.floridaleagueofcities.com)

Inspiration’s Luminescence on the Indian River Lagoon

Morning's Light on the Indian River Lagoon
Sunrise along the Indian River Lagoon, Jensen Beach. (Photo JTL)

light, noun: “understanding of a problem or mystery; enlightenment”

If you have ever had the chance to drive along Indian River Lagoon in the early morning or at sunset, you have probably been taken by it’s light.

No matter how “bad” the health of the river itself can get, at sunrise or sunset, there is the river’s glorious illumination. It’s one of those otherworldly gifts in a life that is often otherwise quite commonplace.

In the new or fading light of the Indian River Lagoon, we are renewed, and find our  inspiration to fight, and to save it.