Florida Day Two: A Morning Walk And Sunrise In The Conch Republic
I was up early my second morning in the Conch Republic, as the locals like to call Key West. It was about a mile walk to Higgs Memorial Beach where I planned to watch the sunrise. I have learned on my travels, that as you get closer to the equator there is less twilight. Unlike our long twilights in the northern latitudes the suns sets and rises without much twilight. So it was dark when I left my room. about a half hour before sunrise.
It was a pleasant 68 degrees as I walked down deserted Duval Street. The Conch Republic is not an early morning place. The action goes on until the wee hours of the morning and most of the island was asleep as I walked the empty streets.
The many roosters were up roaming the streets and competing with each other to see who could crow the loudest. I love the sound of roosters crowing. It reminds me of my childhood in Green Ridge in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Many of our neighbors had chickens and the crowing of the roosters woke us up at dawn. There were also a lot of cats on the streets and I made friends with this one. It immediately began following me and purred affectionately when I would pet it. After sadly saying goodbye to the cat,
I saw this beautiful bird, And I am not sure what it is. My first thought it was a great white egret. However, my Merlin bird app tells me it is a white subspecies of a great blue heron. I am not sure. I encountered on of these birds on a previous visit to the keys and even the birders debated whether it was a great white egret,
I left the preserve and wanted to visit another part of the Nature Preserve and an Indengous Park but both were closed due to damage from the recent hurricane. I had already walked more than I planned, almost three miles, so I started my walk back to the Duvall house.
I walked up White Street and than Walton Street on my return . I was in some nice neighborhoods. I was surprised to see this yellow-bellied sapsucker on a palm tree along the street. I haven’t seen one since a visit to Key Largo three years ago, also on a palm tree. They migrate to Pennsylvania in the Spring but I haven’t seen one there in years. It is a beautiful bird. Here is a link to a gallery with some more of the birds I saw on my morning hike in the Conch Republic. Florida Day Two morning hike birds January 11 2023.
came to an old cemetery. I had read about it and wanted to visit. However, I had no time. I had a lot more planned on my one day stay but it was now bear 9 a.m. and I wanted to get back for breakfast.
So I finished my 5 1/2 mile hike, and the breakfast at the Duval House was wonderful, especially the Belgian waffle. I had a nice chat with some California folk, then showered, packed and was on the road by 11 a.m. I was off to look for key deer. It was a short but exciting and informative stay in Key West, the Conch Republic, and I am already looking forward to another visit, maybe even in March when the birds are migrating north. I know this, it won’t be 33 years until my next visit to the Conch Republic. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photos from my morning hike. Florida Day Two Key West morning January 11 2023.
It’s those changes in latitudes, changes in attitudesNothing remains quite the same With all of our running and all of our cunning If we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane. Jimmy Buffet.