Tuesday, March 30, 2010

ARTIFACT: Part One Of A Series

Last weekend, fired up by the sheer aquacoolness of my freshwater prawn operation in the classroom, I began excavating a small aquaculture raceway in my backyard.


... and dang it, I'm going to do just that.

The exact dimensions of this pond are nebulous at this time, but I have a figure in my head ... it's just so crowded in there, I haven't found them yet.

Anyway ...

I was antsy to start moving sand, so I grabbed my shovel and got busy. Even with fuzzy final dimensions, I know about what I need to do, and I can fine tune the excavation when it's time.

Here at PFHQ, I have a layer of clay beneath the sand, but I will still have to line this pond to prevent seepage through the sandy sidewalls.

It is that liner and it's cost that will ultimately determine the size of this raceway pond.

As is my way, I started taking photos of the process to share with y'all.

Suddenly, inspiration struck me like a leaping mullet in a fast boat ... (that would be me in the boat, not the mullet ... probably not a good metaphor if you have never been smacked by a flying Mugil cephalus while zipping along in a skiff ... too Floridacentric)

When I recovered from the shock of inspiration, I started videoing the process.

What follows is the first installment of a series of videos that trace the pond excavation process and reveal some of the interesting artifacts that turn up when you dig deep.

I was filming using my digital camera, so each clip represents a few moments of digging.

I tried to combine them into one long video, but:

  • It was kind'a long for uploading.

  • The sound did not sync with the action and I looked like a 1960's Godzilla movie actor with lip movement that does not match the words. It was too weird for me.

If you want this to make any sense, watch them in the order in which they appear below.

Tomorrow, I will post Part Two.

Video 1

Video 2

Video 3

Video 4

Video 5

I felt like Indiana FC ... only without the cool hat.

Okay, that's enough video uploads for one post.

Part two tomorrow.


tai haku said...

very cool FC - I like the sound of the freshwater shrimp - we considered doing something with signal crays over here but they're an environmental menace it turns out so we left the culturing of them be.

Looking forward to part 2.

threecollie said...

Oh, my, that is really cool. I am amazed at what it is like to dig down there...until you hit the rock and clay anyhow. Up here it takes both hands and at least one foot to dig like that.

lisa said...

Shrimp,mmmm sounds good. I will be watching for more Indain FC! Oh, I'll be right over for some of that sand ;)

Pablo said...

Shrimp for eating? Trading? Releasing?

I'm going to enjoy watching this project progress!

Alan said...

FC-You are a model for all of us Floridians.

Anonymous said...

someone has too much time on his hands... Where's Mrs. FC and her honeydo list?

LauraHinNJ said...

How in the world do you grow anything in that?

Looks like a fun project... looking forward to progress.

Deb said...

Cool! Your Florida soil looks so...white. And rockless. Around here it's reddish brown, and you can't till a garden bed 12 inches without hauling up a few boulders. Anyway, I like the narrated video format. Can't wait for Part Two!

cndymkr / jean said...

I loved this post. How fascinating to see the different layers and the shells you found. Great job on the videos.

Ericka said...

very neat.

how do you grow anything with all of that sand?

clay? *perks up* i can help you with that... that'd be cool, wouldn't it? if we could figure out the logistics, you could be sipping a beverage in a mug made by yours truly of clay from your land.


Floridacracker said...

I looked at some of the big Aussie crayfish species, but lots of restrictions here, so I went with my old interest, the prawn. They require no permits here since they could not survive a North Florida winter.

Digging is really easy here. We have only been out of the ocean a short while so it's just sand. My rock is really close to the surface. Most place in FL you could dig yourself silly and never hit a rock.

People want sand?
LOL! That's like me bringing home rocks from northern vacation trips!

For eating. These prawns are huge and delicous.

That;s a scary thought.
LOL! Thanks!

Huh? I should spend it watching tv?
Did I miss something here?

Amendments, amendments, amendments.
It's high in Mg and Ca, but little else. And it's just a LITTLE bit porous.

It did turn in to a treasure hunt as time went on. That sand is white because not long ago it was a under the ocean. Florida is just a geological baby still.
I'd love to find a boulder.

Thanks! I keep hoping for some more arrowheads to turn up, but this dig did get pretty interesting later, so I'm not complaining.

Growing in million year old beach sand is a bit of a challenge.
Clay ... what a neat idea. Once, when my Katie was little, we dug and processed clay for a school project on native American pottery.
It was all pretty crude, but the clay was smooth and moldable. I'm sure we did not get all the sand out of it.

Dani said...

There's no place on Earth quite like our beautiful Florida.

It takes us forever to get things done outside around here, cause we get sidetracked like you! So many cool things hiding in the sand. Well, cool to us at least.

sharon said...

Can you put some pictures? I'm very curious but I can't get vidio. THank you for your blog.

Ericka said...

sand in clay isn't all bad - they call it grog. if nothing else, it exfoliates your hands while you throw it. :-)