We took a boat ride on the Crystal River through the estuary toward the Gulf of Mexico. This area was inhabited by the Indians from about 2500 years ago to 500 years ago. The changing climate, which attracted them in the first place, was also the reason they left.
Left behind were “mounds” of their trash, from which archaeologists have been able to assemble their eating habits, religious habits, and politics. Part of this State Park is dedicated to teaching archaeology. Unfortunately that teaching section was closed today, but you could still walk the area.
The interesting thing about this area is that the water in the Crystal River is fresh, but as you go through the estuary it begins to mix with the salt water of the Gulf of Mexico. This allowed the Indians to harvest both fresh and salt water fish. The most abundant sea life was oysters, which made up a majority of the “mounds”.
QUIZ (What, you didn’t study?)
What is the difference between these two birds? (Click picture for enhanced view)
Hint: One is an Osprey and the the other an American Eagle. Can you tell which is which?
Left: Osprey Right: Eagle
and came across interesting wildlife.
For the first time we saw snakes. They were called Southern Black Racer, a harmless snake, but they did move so fast I could not get a picture. One was about 3 feet and the second about 5 feet. It was hard to see, since Barbara jumped into my arms blocking my view.
Back at the Ranch, we were inundated with thousands of caterpillars. They especially like my tires. We were told they would be around for a couple more weeks. We did not come across them in any of our other travels in this area.