Thursday, January 7, 2010

No Name Key in Search of the Key Deer

Today we went to Big Pine Key and on to No Name Key in search of the Key Deer.

The Key Deer (Odocoileus virginianus clavium) is an endangered deer that lives only in the Florida Keys. It is a subspecies of the White-tailed deer (O. virginianus)

This deer can be recognized by its characteristic size, smaller than all other White-tailed deer. Adult males (known as bucks) usually weigh 25–34 kilograms (55–75 lb) and stand about 76 centimetres (30 in) tall at the shoulder. Adult females (does) usually weigh between 20–29 kilograms (44–64 lb) and have an average height of 66 centimetres (26 in) at the shoulders. The deer is a reddish-brown to grey-brown in color. Antlers are grown by males and shed between February and March and regrown by June. When the antlers are growing, they have a white velvet coating. The species otherwise generally resembles other white-tailed deer in appearance.

Key Deer easily swim between islands.

Living close to humans, the Key Deer has little of the natural fear of man shown by most of their larger mainland cousins. The deer are often found in residents' yards and along roadsides where tasty plants and flowers grow. This often results in car-to-deer collisions, as the deer are more active (and harder to avoid) at night. It is not unusual to see them at dusk and dawn, especially on lightly-inhabited No Name Key, and in the less-populated northern areas of Big Pine Key. Some are so tame that they will accept food directly from humans, but feeding deer is prohibited by law.











We stopped at the ‘No Name Pub’ at the entrance of No Name Key for supper and a beer. This is the oldest bar on Big Pine Key.




The food was good and the beer was excellent.


This is part of the old 7 mile bridge. They built the roadway on top of the old railway bridge superstructure.

The Seven Mile Bridge, is a famous bridge in the Florida Keys, in Monroe County, Florida, United States. It runs over a channel between the Gulf of Mexico and the Florida Strait, connecting Knight's Key (part of the city of Marathon, Florida) in the Middle Keys to Little Duck Key in the Lower Keys. Among the longest bridges in existence when it was built, it is one of the many bridges on US 1 in the Keys, where the road is called the Overseas Highway.

There are two bridges in this location. The older bridge, originally known as the Knights Key-Pigeon Key-Moser Channel-Pacet Channel Bridge, was constructed from 1909-1912 under the direction of Henry Flagler as part of the Florida East Coast Railway's Key West Extension, also known as the Overseas Railroad.

This bridge was badly damaged by the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935, and subsequently refurbished by the United States Federal Government as an automobile highway bridge. It had a swing span that opened to allow passage of boat traffic, near where the bridge crosses Pigeon Key, a small island where a work camp for Flagler's railroad was located. Hurricane Donna in 1960 caused further damage.

The current road bridge was constructed from 1978 to 1982. The vast majority of the original bridge still exists, used as fishing piers and access to Pigeon Key, but the swing span over the Moser Channel of the Intracoastal Waterway has been removed.

The total length of the new bridge is actually 35,862 ft (10,931 m) or 6.79 miles (10.93 km), shorter than the original.


It is still cold in Florida.Today the high was 58F. ( Note the average high is 75F)

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