Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Shell Mound

If you're thinking "Oh what a nice view", you might be missing the point. Knucklehead is standing on a hill overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.

We don't have hills looking over the Gulf in Pure Florida.

So... where did this hill come from?

(If instead, you were thinking, " Hey! That kid's wearing FC's T-shirt!", you would be right. I just noticed that.)


The vista in the top photo is from the top of a huge midden left by post-iceage immigrants to Florida. These first immigrants used the site as a seasonal (winter, sandgnat free) camp and it probably had other uses that we can only "reflect" upon.

What is known, is that generations of first Floridians piled their shell trash here and created an amazing hill from flat marshland. Today, it's covered with forest and a thin layer of sandy humus.

It's still here today because we own it together, you and I. It's part of the Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge.

Jr. and his buddy thought it was pretty cool and I had to beep the JEEP to call them out of the woods for what would turn out to be a date with ducks at Cedar Key.
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14 comments:

rick said...

the picture could be you many moons ago looking over moultrie creek from the bluff. did you know that they built a boardwalk along part of the bluff?

pissed off patricia said...

I think it's so great that your kids have the love that you do for all things nature.

ps. Thank you for your comment yesterday at MM The last sentence of that comment resulted in a couple of tears. If I could have chosen a dad, I think I would have liked one cut from the same cloth as the one your kid's dad was cut from. :)

kevin said...

I just realized we named our sons the same thing, Knuclehead.

Rick is right, he does look like you without those nerdy glasses you wore in high school.

Weary Hag said...

I love the lessons you put out in many of your posts. You always have something interesting to say ... and some neat pics to go along with it all.

threecollie said...

That is so amazing! Imagine how many mollusks it took to make that pile!

SophieMae said...

Shell mounds are some of my all-time favourite places! And one of my favourite favourites is up here:
http://www.floridastateparks.org/lakejacksonmounds/default.cfm

Deb said...

That's an amazing mound, and some nice shore habitat it overlooks.

Mark said...

I had no idea such a thing existed. If I had been forced to guess where a hill overlooked the Gulf of Mexico, I would have guessed Mexico.

pablo said...

I'm impressed with this pile. There are some mounds near St. Louis that I never visited in all the years I lived there. But why do you suppose they kept adding to the top of the pile? It had to be a hike to get to the top. Just to dump your trash?

And what do the soles of your shoes look like after you've hiked on those shells?

pablo
www.roundrockjournal.com

Woodie said...

Boy, those native Americans had some serious oyster roasts!! Is there another giant pile of primitive beer cans nearby??

vicki said...

layer upon layer of shell! I think that's what I'm creating in my front yard- the beginnings of what will someday be an ancient shell mound.

Ducks at Cedar Key? I'll be by first thing in the AM.

I thought only daughters took their mother's clothing- hmmm.

Floridacracker said...

Rick,
I didn't even know we commoners were allowed on Moultrie bluffs anymore.

POP,
That's about the nicest thing I've had said to me in a while. Thanks.

I meant what I said. I see kids all the time in similar situations and it's tough when you know what it SHOULD be.

Kevin,
Nerdy? Sensitive, intelligent ... as I recall the girls thought ...

Weary,
Thanks! I'm glad you're back in the mix again!

ThreeCollie,
Considering most of them are flat oyster shells, it's an incredible number.

Sophie,
What's really cool are the submerged sites offshore. Cool to think of a much larger iceage FL.

Deb,
Lots of black needle rush (Juncus) and Spartina. My favorite place to be is a salt marsh.

Mark,
And you would be right, but our ancestors left us a few manmade ones.

Pablo,
I think these served outpost purposes, maybe even communication or ceremonial purposes too. From a defensive aspect, it does give you a great lookout post.
These oysters are pretty old, but tromping through a marsh on erect live oysters will slice and dice your sneakers.


Woodie,
I think that is closer to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.


Vicki,
As he's gotten bigger, more of my stuff has migrated his way.

John Cowart said...

Thanks for a happy memory!

Many of the shell middens her in Duval County were mined for road building materials. Remaining ones are hard to find nowadays.

Floridacracker said...

John,
That's true all over the state. Any surviving middens are lucky to be around.