Thursday, January 24, 2008

Digging for clams

Today we took a trip down south into the wilds of Okeechobee County to dig for fossil Mercenaria clams which are highly prized for their beautiful amber colored crystals. In fact the place we went to dig, known as Rucks Pit, is the only place in the world where these particular critters can be found.

These fossilized clams are about 1.5 million years old (Pliocene) and are found in an area of Florida that was once underwater when sea levels were much higher. The amber crystals are quite unique and look a lot like a geode but are actually the fossilized organic remains of the clam's soft interior.

Mercenaria permagna

Outcrop of fossils at Rucks Pit

After spending several hours digging for clams we proceeded further south to take in the lovely bucolic splendor of this rural county and snap a picture of Lake Okeechobee. It is the second-largest freshwater lake wholly within the continental United States, second only to Lake Michigan, and the largest in the southern United States. Okeechobee covers 730 square miles and is relatively shallow, with an average depth of only 9 feet. The name comes from the Hitchi Indian words "oki" (water) and "chubi" (big) and literally means "big water".

Lake Okeechobee

Cattle ranch

Yeehaw Junction, FL

Monday, January 21, 2008

MLK Holiday Cooking

What better way to celebrate Martin Luther King's birthday then to grill up a big batch of barbecued chicken thighs prepared with my special secret recipe sauce?

The sunny 72 degree weather made for a great holiday atmosphere here in the densely wooded swamps of the Florida peninsula.

Hope y'all are enjoying this 3-day weekend in January as much as we are.

Secret sauce

Friday, January 18, 2008

Could this be a trend?

Photographed on the fishing jetty at Cape Canaveral, FL

Could double-exposed boxer underwear be a groundbreaking new trend about to take off in the multi-billion dollar world of American youth fashion? Am I possibly witnessing the start of a bold and exciting direction that will captivate an entire nation? Only time will tell.

Let me know if y'all notice a similar fashion happening in your neck of the woods. Being a naturalist ain't just about watching birds and counting tree rings. Humans is real nature too.