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Mullet Bayou - Fort Desoto

This was my early commute out to Mullet Key Bayou. I began at the southern tip of the key and made it out around the bayou. The area is known for mangroves and oyster beds because it is protected from combustion engines; kayaking is a must.

Mangroves are salt-tolerant trees that grow in coastal areas of tropical and subtropical regions where rivers empty into the ocean. There are red, black and white mangroves that dominate Florida. "When early settlers came to Florida they harvested salt from the Black Mangrove leaves" (Phillips, 2003). Personally, I like to see where all the oysters, shrimp and other marine life I like to eat is coming from.

As I paddled along the edge of the shore I noticed snook and snapper cruising the shallows. Seeing the healthy environment makes me happy and the only sound I hear is the paddle moving through the water.

There is plenty of bird life around the estuary providing them with food to survive the long winter. Watch for great egrets perching in the treetops or wading in the ponds.

The grey egret is nocturnal but finds the temptations of the waters too good to pass up.

Mullet Bayou is referred to as the Atlantic Flyway for many migrating birds that spend winter hibernating here.

Manatee are in the deeper pool but most of the water is only chest deep along my route.

I wished I had brought my binoculars because the birds were more interesting than I imagined.

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