I don’t know about you, but since the coronavirus pandemic has relegated me to my home, I have been going though my closets. In fact, after I was done with mine, I called my mother and asked her to go through her’s as well. She always wins when it comes to finding cool forgotten stuff tucked away in the closet!
Yesterday, she found the family fossil box. She left it out front of her house for me to pick up. It was very heavy and FOSSILS was neatly written atop. It was a timely find as I have been blogging about Lake Okeechobee’s ancient inland sea. Lake Okeechobee and beyond offer not just shelling but incredible fossil hunting as well.
Yes, almost all of Florida was once an ancient sea, not just Lake Okeechobee…Florida in various forms has been in and out of the water many times…
Many of the fossils from my mom’s fossil closet are from Gainesville where she grew up and where my grandparents lived. My cat Okee was very interested in the fossils too! They must still smell! She was bating an ancient shark tooth around like it was a toy. She loved when I laid out the contents of the fossil closet.
As you may have guessed, the saber-tooth cat skull above is not one from the Thurlow fossil closet! This is from the Clewiston Museum that has one of the state’s very best fossil collections containing all the fantastic megafauna that used to roam. In 2012, Ed and I went fossil hunting with the famous Mark Renz -in the area of the Peace River. So weird and incredible! Ed and I had a blast, Mark showed us some of his great finds when we were there, and Ed and I found some fossils too. Fossils are fun, and again kind of put things in, what should I say? Perspective…
Today, May 12th, at 9:45 A.M. Governor Rick Scott is scheduled to sign Senate President Joe Negron’s “Senate Bill 10” in of all places Clewiston. Clewiston is “America’s Sweetest Town” and the headquarters of U.S. Sugar Corporation…
According to the article in the Glades County Democrat announcing the signing: “Earlier this week Senate Bill 10, a move to secure funding for a water storage reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee was approved. In its amended form, Senate Bill 10 became a measure that we in the Glades could stand behind. The bill no longer stated that additional farmlands be taken out of production but rather the state would utilize the property that it already owns to create a reservoir with a much smaller footprint.”
Although I am scratching my head, you know what? Sometimes you just have to be happy for what you get, no matter where you get it. I am tremendously thankful to Governor Scott for signing the bill ~ although I do wish he had decided to sign it in Martin County since we’ve worked so hard to get it.
When I read the announcement officially last night, it got me thinking about Clewiston before I went to sleep. It brought back memories of 2013 and famed paddle boarder Justin Riney’s idea to hold the Sugarland Rally in Clewiston on September 1st, 2013 to unite the movement. This was one of the early rallies for the river during the devastation of the “Lost Summer.”
Since Governor Scott is going to sign in Clewiston I think it’s a good time to walk down memory lane and be proud of how far we’ve come and to get ready for how far we have to go! The point of the location of the Sugarland Rally was to “meet halfway.” Hopefully Governor Scott is thinking the same, in that Joe Negron helped us meet half way and we are all thankful.
Now let’s remember the past, enjoy today, and then take it to the finish line!
“The Sugarland Rally will unite the east and west coasts of Florida in a peaceful, historic demonstration to speak out against the pollution of our estuaries from Lake Okeechobee discharges. We support both immediate and long-term solutions, but ecosystems and communities along the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Estuaries are in crisis. We cannot afford to wait for ecological and economic collapse. We urge all stakeholders–especially local, state and federal governments–to act immediately. We chose Clewiston as a central location to unify east and west at Lake Okeechobee, the source that is polluting our estuaries, and because we believe Florida’s sugar industry can be part of the solution. Please don’t misinterpret our intentions–we are NOT holding a rally at Clewiston to protest or point fingers at “Big Sugar.” It’s quite the opposite, actually. We invite Florida’s powerful sugar industry to join us in crafting an immediate solution to the ecological and economic crisis caused by discharges from Lake Okeechobee.” (Press release from Justin Riney, Aug. 2013)
These photos are from a recent trip to Clewiston taken at the historic Clewiston Inn. The Everglades Lounge is an inspiration. May we think about more than ourselves in our decisions. A drink may help.