After my most recent blog post, people were asking me about the shells I found along the eastern shoreline of Lake Okeechobee. My mother even shared a rare visit to her collection-closet revealing a huge ten-inch Busycon contrarium ~also known as a whelk. She brushed the dust off the amazing “fossil.” On it, a shiny pink ribbon held a note that read:
“This Busycon contrarium blank was purchased from Lottie Huff a Seminole at the Brighton Reservation. She had a little craft store on highway 721 that runs through the reservation from State Road 70 to State Road 78. Her husband Stanley found it in some material dug up by heavy equipment. She had cleaned it up. 7/3/95.”
Then she emailed me: “So are those shells in Lake Okeechobee from the years when the ocean covered Florida, like the shark teeth found in today’s freshwater creeks and streams?”
I did not know. I do not know. I started researching and I still don’t know!
There is a plethora of literature about the formation of Florida and most documents agree about geology and that Lake Okeechobee was formed about six-thousand years ago. Long before that, Florida was an inland sea. Thus today, our state is a destination for shell fossil hunters and much larger ancient megafauna, and even calcite fossilized clams!
Florida is an amazing place with so much history. Now if only I can get answers about those shells I found! Do you know the answer? Please write me if you do. I will continue the hunt myself, but in the meanwhile, let’s admire my mother‘s incredible busycon contrarium!