Category Archives: Guest writer

The Gale of 1878, Ten Mile Creek, SLR/IRL

*Please note comments become public record.

Excerpt of a survey map, 1919, courtesy Mike Middlebrook, Natural Resources Manager, St Lucie County.

The following are two rare accounts of pioneer life documenting the extreme rain event of 1878. The first is from A. Hendry Sr., and the other by Emily Lagow Bell. These related families lived along the banks of Ten Mile Creek at the time of this flood. Their stories give us insight into a world we cannot even image today.

Historian Sandra Henderson Thurlow, (http://www.sandrathurlow.com)
had transcribed these accounts from old newspaper articles and a book. Apparently, the News Tribune had the wonderful idea of a “contest for old timers” and people wrote in.

Sandra, my mother, recently came across her transcriptions again, after I visited the Richard E. Becker Preserve in St Lucie County and started asking questions.

Today I put these valuable recollections out for all to read. I think you will find them as interesting as I do.

We must not forget that are living in a Land Remembered!

Ten Mile Creek and Five Mile Creek are visible on this 1884 map – look just south of Ft Pierce. These “creeks” are the northern headwaters of the St Lucie River. They have been drained, tamed, and destroyed by the C&SFP canal system C-23, C-24 and C-25.

TWO RARE ACCOUNTS

I.

Transcribed by Sandra H. Thurlow

News Tribune

Nov. 26, 1978

“Miley’s Memos”

by Charles S. Miley

 

  1. A. Hendry was one of the first settlers of this area, and one of the pioneer cattlemen.

Born near Bartow, he came here with his parents at the age of 14, when there were but a handful of settlers in the area. As was the case with most other early settlers, he engaged in the cattle business during his late youth hood and all his adult life, reportedly being among the largest cattle owners in the state. He and K. B. Raulerson established the East Coast Cattle Co., which later became the Raulerson Cattle Co., forerunner of some of the present-day cattle operations.

He died at the age of 87 and he and his wife are buried in the Fort Pierce cemetery.

A son, A. A. “Buck” Henry, Jr., presently lives at 3576 N. E. Skyline drive, Jensen Beach, but spent most of his life in Fort Pierce and is well known among many of our residents.

When the News Tribuneconducted an old timer’s letter writing contest in February of 1934, the senior Hendry wrote a letter relating some of his experiences as an early settler of the area.

Here is the letter.

 

Fort Pierce, Florida

February 20, 1934

Within less than eight miles of White City, where I hope this will be read as a prize-winning letter, has been my home for 62 years, one month and one week.

For early in January, 1872, my father and mother and eight children left Polk County with two wagons drawn by oxen. After two weeks slow traveling over the old government trail, Ft. Meade, Ft. Kissimmee, Ft. Drum, we arrived at Fort Pierce. We drove our cattle with us and camped where night caught us.

We settled on the south side of Ten Mile creek, where later was located the Lisk and Roden Gove, later owned by B. J. Selvitz.

Of my father’s eight children, seven are still living, three still in this neighborhood, Mrs. Frank Bell, John Hendry and myself.

At the time of our arrival Henry Parker lived in Fr. Drum and Elias Jernigan lived on what is now the Standard Growers grove at Ten Mile; on the south lived Lang on St. Lucie River bluff just south of White City, clearing what has since become the Edwards grove, now owned by Mr. Martin East was the trading post. of the old fort, run by Alex Bell (who had arrived the year before) and a Mr. Smith; on the north lived Jim Russel and the Paine family at Ft. Capron. Beyond these points, outside of possible wandering trappers and hunters, there were no settlers short of Ft. Bassenger, Ft. Jupiter, where lived Captain Armour and Mr. Carlin, and Sebastian, where Col. Gibson lived.

An occasional band of Indians stopped on their way to the “fort,” where they would swap deer skins and other hides for beads, cloth, ammunition, salt, etc.

Their main cooking was what they called “sofkee,” ─ a tick soupy mixture of meat, grits, meal, potatoes, beans, or anything they might happen to have, boiled in a copper kettle swung over a slow fire. When done, they would squat around the kettle and pass around the one big spoon for individual use or would gorge out a handful and pour or suck off their fingers. First the bucks would eat till they had enough, then the squaws and pickaninnies. They liked white man’s cooking and lost no opportunity to enjoy it. They were especially fond of milk, never having any milk cows of their own. They would always divide with us whenever they had anything to eat that we did not have.

These Indians were of Old Parker’s band. They were known also as the Cow Creek Indians.

There were about a hundred of them in all. Their headquarters were in the Indiantown section.

September 7, 8, 9, and 10thin the year of 1878, there was a gale with a heavy rain. The Ten Mile creek’s banks overflowed. When the water came up in the floor of our cabin I built a rough boat in the hall and poled my people across the creek to Asbury Seller’s place. Finding them gone, I became somewhat alarmed. Then I poled on east to John Sellers and spent the night there with their family. Next day we all took refuge on the “mound” ─ still standing, what is left of it, just south of the road about a mile west of Five Mile.

There were 32 of us men, women and children and we spent there two days and one night. We had no shelter and were drenched to the skin. We managed to build a fire which we kept going with driftwood. We brought provisions along but were gladdened by the addition of a deer which swam up and which we killed with a pole. On returning home we found the water had been up two of three feet in the house, according to the marks on the walls.

We lived a rough, hard but healthy life. Plenty of clean food and plenty of outdoor exercise getting it. We had no Sunday schools or churches for years. We soon had a few months school for the younger children and we older ones picked up reading and writing as best we could. Mail, at best, came once a week by sail boat, newspapers were scarce, and magazines scarcer.

I have seen and used ox carts, mule teams, horse and buggy, railroad cars and automobiles on land, and the rowboat, sailboat and steamboat on the water; and overhead the airplane. What next?

Yours truly,

A. HENDRY, SR.

 

II.

About the Williams Mound:

 

Emily Lagow Bell, My Pioneer Days in Florida, 1928

 

I have a copy of this rare book

 

Sandra Thurlow

April 26, 2003

 

page 21:

 

…Alexander Bell and family, also Mr. Archibald Hendry’s family, Mr. Sellers and family were living at Ten Mile Creek. This was the 1878 storm.

The gale lasted 24 hours and the creek began to rise and James Bell and brother, Frank, and others found they had to get something to save the women and children, so took the floor out of the house , made a raft, and the water was in the house then! Well, he took his mother and children first to an Indian mound, which I think is near Ten Mile creek yet. He had to make several trips before he got them all and forgot his horse, and it drowned in the yard.

There were cattle, hogs, deer, snakes, and coons, possums, turkeys all coming to the mound. Hundreds of stock and animals drowned. They built fires on the mound and the second day the water was receding and all came into Fort Pierce.

 

page 28:

 

…Then there were several men hunting the frostproof part of the state for new groves, and my father-in-law had died, and the family decided to sell the Ten Mile place and a Mr. Sid Williams came about 1894 or 1895, and he bought the place at a very low figure, something like five or six hundred dollars, and he built up something like one hundred acres of groves which sold for a fabulous price. Now it is owned by the Standard Growers.

 

 

Learning More About 10 Mile Creek, SLR/IRL

*Please note comments become public record.

If you look in the upper right corner of this 1884 map of Florida, you will see the Ten Mile Creek area near Ft Pierce, in today’s St Lucie County. This area was one of the most beloved places as written about by Stuart News editor (1945-1975) and St Lucie River advocate, Ernie Lyons.

Much to Lyons and others dismay, over time, this area became channelized by canals C-23, C-24 and C-25 as part of the Central and South Florida Project. Although these canals are not connected to Lake Okeechobee, they are very destructive to the health of the St Lucie River. These lands once marsh like and sacred to mound building Indians, were drained for citrus and development in the early 1950 and 60s. Pollution contamination became a serious issue in these “protected headwaters.”  (https://jacquithurlowlippisch.com/tag/ten-mile-creek/)

Today, a reservoir and storm water treatment area are functional, finally, to begin to mitigate the situation. St Lucie County itself is doing great things having to do with restoration. The area is so special and remains full of remnants of Old Florida, “a land to be remembered.”

I plan on doing a series of posts on this subject, and today I begin with presentations by Dr Gary Goforth. Who better to begin our journey of learning more about 10 Mile Creek!

__________________________________________

Jacqui –

Last month I was invited to give a presentation on the North Fork of the St. Lucie River by the Conservation Alliance of St. Lucie County and the Oxbow Eco-Center.

http://www.garygoforth.net/Goforth%20-%20North%20Fork%20-%20final%20-%20without%20video.pdf

http://www.garygoforth.net/Goforth%20-%20North%20Fork%20photos%20-%20final%20draft.pdf

Link to YouTube video of the presentation – warning – it’s about an hour-long!

Enjoy!

Gary Goforth, P.E. PhD (http://www.garygoforth.net/index.htm)

North Fork of the St Lucie River is fed by Five and Ten Miles Creeks in St Lucie County. Once the glorious headwaters, they are today hardly recognizable. JTL

An excerpt by Ernie Lyons

THERE was never anything more beautiful than a natural South Florida River, like the North and South Fork of the St. Lucie and the winding cypress-bordered Loxahatchee.

THEIR banks of cabbage palms and live oaks draped with Spanish moss and studded with crimson-flowered air plants and delicate wild orchids were scenes of tropical wonder, reflected back from the mirror-like onyx surface of the water.

EVERY BEND of their serpentine lengths brought new delights. Here would be clumps of fragile white spider lilies in bloom, there an alligator easing down, an otter swimming or an anhinga, the snake bird or water turkey, drying its spread wings on a dead snag. If its wings weren’t dry enough to fly, the water turkey would plunge into the river and swim off under water.

THERE were pileated woodpeckers pounding away on dead pines, egrets and herons, occasionally flocks of wild turkeys thundering over. But the most wonderful thing was the water itself, pure, sweet, cool fresh water. For miles down from the headwaters you could lean over and drink your fill. Water the way God made it. No Chlorine. No chemical additives. No salt.

IN THIS marvelous fresh water there was an incredible population of black bass and blue gills and all other finny tribes of the freshwater. There were catfish, gars and mudfish, and that strange fish with green bones called the Chinese pike or “sleeper, ” also snook and tarpon which had come up from the brackish into the fresh water zone.

THERE had always been fresh water in the upper zones, furnishing some of the most marvelous sport fishing conceivable. The fresh water was constantly replenished by a steady flow from saw grass swamps and cypress lakes, as well as by thousands of little trickles in the banks from a high ground water level. True, the tides pushed the fresh water back and diluted it with a brackish mixture in the lower zones, but there was always enough more fresh water coming in so that the headwaters held their own.

DRAINAGE canals, mostly for agricultural purposes, cut the throats of the upper rivers. During the periods of heavy rainfall, muddy waters gushed down and turned the formerly clear streams into a turbid, silted mess. During dry spells, gated dams held back water for irrigation. The ground water table was lowered. Salt marched upstream, turning the formerly fresh waters brackish and eventually so salty fresh water fish could not procreate.

THE MARVELOUS fresh water fishing expired, majestic cypresses along the banks of the Loxahatchee began to die. The banks are still beautiful, but just a shadow of what they had been.

WHAT brings all of this to mind is that, at long last, South Florida Water Management District plans to begin an “experimental release” of around 1,000 cubic feet per second of fresh Lake Okeechobee water from St. Lucie Canal into the St. Lucie River. All South Florida rivers require a reasonable amount of fresh water. Too much is disastrous.

NOW, if they can devise ways to reintroduce steady flows into the North and South Forks and the Loxahatchee, some paradises might be restored.

Links:

St Lucie County, 10 Mile Creek:

https://www.stlucieco.gov/departments-services/a-z/environmental-resources/preserve-listing/ten-mile-creek-preserve

https://www.stlucieco.gov/home/showdocument?id=2082

If You Can’t Speak Up, WRITE! LORS to LOSOM

Next Tuesday’s Stuart meeting and others of the ACOE, for input on updating the Lake Okeechobee Operations Schedule, are quickly  approaching;  if you cannot attend in person, please write. Today I share the letter of Geoffrey Norris PhD, FRSC, who my blog readers are familiar with as he has been a guest writer many times. His is an excellent letter, and can give you ideas of how to compose your own, if you cannot attend in person.

Stuart
Tuesday, February 19, 2019, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Indian River State College
The Clare and Gladys Wolf High-Technology Center
2400 SE Salerno Road, Stuart, FL 34997

Thank you everyone for being part of the River Movement that is changing state politics and policy so we can leave something better to the children of today, and in the future.

Jacqui

2013, Ceila Ingram, K.C. Ingram’s daughter, one of the original River Kidz.

__________________________________________________________

February 14th, 2019

Dear Dr. Ann Hodgson

Re:   U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District’s meetings for input on the development of a new Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM) (https://www.saj.usace.army.mil/LOSOM/)

  SCIENCE AND STRATEGY FOR MITIGATING CYANOBACTERIAL AND ALGAL BLOOMS IN FLORIDA WATERS

My name is Geoffrey Norris, and I am a resident and property owner in Martin County, Florida. I have recently provided the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with written input to your scoping meetings in the way of anecdotal evidence suggesting that the ACE-mediated water releases are having a devastating impact on the ecosystems of the coastal areas in east Florida. This, in my judgement, is having a severe negative impact on the economy of Florida, which is largely built on and sustained by the natural aquatic ecosystems.  I now wish to provide you with my scientific opinion on the cyanobacterial (blue-green) blooms and dinoflagellate blooms (red tides) that are associated with the destruction of ecosystems of the lacustrine, estuarine and coastal waters of much of Florida’s littoral zone.

In the following discussion, the acronym ACE refers to the United States Army Corps of Engineers.

Credentials

But first let me outline my credentials:  I have been actively involved as an earth scientist in the study of microscopic algae (dinoflagellates) and associated organic micro-organisms for about 50 years.  My expertise is as a paleontologist, not as a biologist, but I am familiar with earth science and life science literature pertinent to fossil and living dinoflagellates and associated organisms.  I have written many research papers on the subject, and am a co-author of a seminal book on the classification of living and fossil dinoflagellates, which continues to be widely referenced by research scientists.  I am a Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto where I directed a research laboratory devoted to organic-walled algal microfossils for more than three decades prior to retirement, and was Chair of Geology for a decade.  I was a visiting scientist for several months at the Florida Marine Research Laboratory, St Petersburg (now incorporated in the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission) researching aspects of the life cycle of certain dinoflagellates.  I have taught students about marine-estuarine ecosystems in field trips to Florida Bay, the Everglades, and the Keys.  I am old enough to remember how Florida once was in the 1960s before habitat destruction had become so severe.  More recently I have been involved in extensive applied paleontological research on the geology of the outer continental shelf and continental slope flanking the Gulf of Mexico, including documenting the evolutionary history and ecology of marine and brackish dinoflagellates over the last 60 million years in the Gulf and the adjacent southern states.  I am a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, which is more or less equivalent to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences that recognizes the country’s leading research scientists for outstanding achievements.

Background to the problem

As you know, Lake Okeechobee has been converted over the decades from a once-dynamic lake system to a virtually static reservoir. In the early days, input to the Lake was provided upstream by a variety of rivers.  Output occurred over the southern rim, discharging water seasonally into the uniquely very wide and very shallow “River of Grass” that traversed the Everglades, and eventually drained into Florida Bay.  Over the years (1930-1960), in response to various circumstances, the southern rim was raised and strengthened and eventually became the Herbert Hoover dike.  At that point, the lake ceased to exist functionally as a dynamic system, and might now be better called the Lake Okeechobee Reservoir.  It is a semi-static system with no natural outflow, and now functions to trap nutrients and hold them indefinitely until the water managers make decisions regarding discharges.  This is the nub of the problem – how to control and release water, in what quantities and in what directions, and how to remove the nutrient and microbial overload from the water.  For many years the problem was simplistically stated as a flood control measure, but as the nutrient loading and consequent lake eutrophication became more apparent it also became clear that dumping excess water from Lake Okeechobee into outflow canals directed to the east and west coasts was creating a major problem, not solving one.

Cyanobacteria and the Army Corps of Engineers

During the latter two or three decades of the 20th century, phosphorus in the Lake Okeechobee Reservoir increased markedly.  High phosphorus content tends to favor cyanobacteria such as the toxic Microcystis, and tends to exclude microscopic and generally benign algae which otherwise might be expected in a lake, for example: dinoflagellates, diatoms, green algae, and other planktic or benthic photosynthetic organisms.  Major blooms of blue green toxic cyanobacteria became more frequent and intense in the early 21st century, and now are close to becoming a persistent annual feature in Lake Okeechobee and in the ACE water-dumping grounds. The seasonal release from the Lake by the Army Corps of Engineers of highly toxic water infected with cyanobacteria is simply not acceptable.  This is not a solution – this is a travesty and a betrayal of trust by ACE for the American people it serves through their elected representatives in Congress.

The Mission of ACE is clear: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ mission is to provide vital public engineering services in peace and war to strengthen our Nation’s security, energize the economy, and reduce risks from disasters (emphasis is mine).  Unfortunately, you seem to be doing the exact opposite.  How secure can the public feel when you poison our water?  How can you claim to energize the economy when you are driving Florida’s principal industries into the ground?  How can you claim to be reducing risks from disasters when you are pumping toxic effluent into our environment and endangering the lives of humans and animals alike with disastrous consequences for the ecosystem?

No, clearly you are on the wrong track, and you need to reevaluate how you handle the remediation of the Lake Okeechobee Reservoir.  Here are some ideas that might be worth exploring as you re-formulate your strategy.

Get rid of the phosphorus from Lake Okeechobee Reservoir

High phosphorus loadings in bodies of water are not new, particularly since the advent of the green revolution in the 1970s.  Fertilizer mixes are applied liberally to agricultural land on a global basis, and nutrient pollution of freshwater and marine water bodies is becoming commonplace.  Getting rid of bio-available phosphorus (dephosphatisation) in the water and the bottom sediments of the Lake Okeechobee Reservoir would help to reduce the probability of toxic cyanobacterial blooms forming.  One possibility is the use of lanthanum-modified bentonites, kaolinites, or zeolites to permanently remove the phosphate from the water. These dephosphatisation agents have been used elsewhere in the world to remediate lakes that have undergone eutrophication and massive cyanobacterial infection.  Why not the Lake Okeechobee Reservoir?

Other alternatives to clay minerals used for dephosphatisation include such substances as fly ash. Fly ash is produced in abundance in the Everglades Agricultural Area when the sugar cane is burned off during harvesting– could these tens of millions of tons of vegetation accruing annually be converted to fly ash and captured and collected and used to lock up the phosphorus, rather than continue the present practice of discharging fly ash into the atmosphere and polluting the area for miles around all the way to the coast?

Get rid of the toxic microcystins from the Lake Okeechobee Reservoir

Just a few days ago, a paper was published showing that microcystins (toxins associated with cyanobacteria) from Lake Erie could be removed by using treated rice husks as a sorbent material, and then recycled or disposed of using sand (“Treated rice husks as a recyclable sorbent for the removal of microcystins from water, Dilrukshika et al, Science of the Total Environment, available online 5 February 2019, Elsevier.”)  Perhaps there are other agricultural waste products that could be used for this purpose in addition to rice husks.  Now is the time to come up with big bold ideas with the potential to address this huge issue.  Sitting with your hands on the flood gate controls will solve nothing.

Army Corps of Engineers – stop killing our brackish estuaries with freshwater discharges

Even if nutrients and toxins can be removed from Okeechobee water, the Army Corps of Engineers must stop displacing brackish water that occurs naturally in our estuaries and lagoons with massive amounts of lacustrine freshwater.  Freshwater is certain death to estuarine sea grasses, shell fish, bonefish, marine vertebrates and other estuarine fauna and flora.  Sending massive amounts of freshwater to offshore marine areas is also not an option for similar reasons and must be stopped forthwith.

ACE should think big!  Send the water south again, into the wetlands where it was once a vital component.  ACE should think Marjorie Stoneman Douglas’s “River of Grass”!  Reconstructed wetlands to bio-cleanse effluent are not new technology, having been used since the mid-20th century, and are now being aggressively installed to efficiently cleanse polluted water in areas such as Lake Erie which has huge nutrient pollution problems and attendant toxic cyanobacterial problems.

Stop using glyphosate/Roundup to kill cattails (Typha) in and around Lake Okeechobee Reservoir.

The Army Corps of Engineers has been killing cattails and other littoral zone plants in and around the Lake Okeechobee Reservoir with glyphosate (Roundup) since at least the year 2000, according to the ACE website.  This efficient vegetation killer is known also to magnify the effects of phosphate release in sediments, hence favoring the growth of cyanobacteria.   The cyanobacteria in turn are known to be potentially capable of becoming genetically resistant to glyphosate toxicity.   Glyphosate is suspected of being harmful to human health, although its putative harmful effects are controversial.  Recent court judgements, however, support its status as a carcinogen. For all these reasons, ACE must discontinue the use of glyphosate/Roundup in the Lake Okeechobee Reservoir, and must enforce the ban of back-pumping potentially toxic effluent from the sugar cane fields to the Lake Okeechobee Reservoir.

Red tides and the Army Corps of Engineers

The continued release by the Army Corps of Engineers of massive amounts of nutrient-rich water from the Lake Okeechobee Reservoir into the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico is contributing to the problem of red tides in marine coastal waters caused by blooms of the dinoflagellate, Karenia.  Red tides have plagued Florida for a long time, but in recent years blooms of Karenia have changed from being an occasional seasonal nuisance, to a chronic, multi-seasonal, multi-year threat to human health.  Nutrient pollution is one of several factors implicated in the rise to prominence of Karenia red tides.  The Army Corps of Engineers has a continuing responsibility to preserve the marine ecosystems of Florida as well as reduce the risks to human health by discontinuing the discharge of nutrient-rich water from the Lake Okeechobee Reservoir to the marine coastal waters.

In conclusion, the Army Corps of Engineers is faced with a huge problem, but this should be looked upon as a huge opportunity for your organization to exert its leadership and provide the vital engineering services to the people who so desperately need them.

Thank you for reading my views on this really important issue.  I cannot emphasize enough how important it will be when ACE makes the transition to a modern environmentally-conscious organization that truly provides vital public engineering services in peace and war to strengthen our Nation’s security, energize the economy, and reduce risks from disasters.

I sincerely wish your organization both good luck and adequate funding from Congress and elsewhere to carry out your mission effectively.

Yours truly

Geoffrey Norris PhD, FRSC

__________________________________________

Acronyms:

~2008 Lake Okeechobee Operating Schedule (LORS)
~2019: Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM), a component of the Central & Southern Florida (C&SF) System Operating Plan

 

Southern Lake Okeechobee’s Custard Apple Swamp, an Ecological History by Zachariah A. Cosner

Photographer Sarah Brown’s wonderful images of Ritta Island give us a feeling of what the ancient custard apple forest of Lake Okeechobee must have been like. The 32,000 acres of trees along the southern rim of the lake is something we can only imagine, as this highly important forest was eradicated for agricultural purposes.  Zac Cosner’s work below gives great insights into the function and importance of this historic forest: (Sarah Brown Images: http://www.sarahbrownimages.com/florida-work.html)

Custard Apple Swamp, An Ecological History of Southern Lake Okeechobee by Zachariah A. Cosner

The document I share with you today, is one I fell in love with two years ago. At the time, Zachariah Cosner was a student writing his thesis at the University of Miami, today he works for the City of South Miami.

Zac’s ecological history of the destruction of Lake Okeechobee’s Custard Apple Forest is a metaphor for the ecological destruction of all South Florida. What was lost? What was torn from the earth, roots sprawling,  piled up like bodies and burned? 32,000 acres of ancient trees, bird rookeries, wildlife habitat, tangled linen-colored moonvine, as well as God’s sieve “to filter and purify the waters of Lake Okeechobee before they began the long southerly route through the ridges and sloughs of the river of grass… ”

This story, this ecological genocide was the beginnings of the Everglades Agricultural Area and is a story basically untold, forgotten. I post it here today with Zac’s permission for reference and access for all.  Please click on link below: 

 

zachariah-a-cosner-thesis-on-the-ecological-history-of-the-custard-apple-swamp-converted

 

This SFWMD created image shows the 32,000 acres of custard apple forest (also called pond apple) that once existed prior to agricultural development.
This SFWMD created image shows the 32,000 acres of custard apple eradicated and replaced by the EAA or Everglades Agricultural Area that is primarily made up of sugar fields.
Florida Memory photo, pond apples belt at rim of dead river/creek. John Kunzel Small 1869-1938.

Zac Cosner can be reached at : zcosner@gmail.com

Jay Exum’s Bears

All bear photos by Jay Exum, Seminole County, FL.

As one of the newest board members of “FWF,” I recently I met Jay Exum,  board chair of the Florida Wildlife Federation (http://fwfonli4.w20.wh-2.com/site). Jay lives in Seminole County, just north of Orlando and one of his specialties is bears. Recently, I witnessed his over-the-top bear photographs, particularly the ones of bears hanging in trees like Christmas balls; I asked if I could share the photos on by blog. Jay was happy to do such, and that is why I entitled this post “Jay Exum’s Bears.”

Perhaps for people who live in Central Florida Jay’s photos are no bear-big-deal, but for me, where the last black bear in our region was killed in 1926 on Hutchinson Island by Captain Billy Pitchford, these photos are absolutely amazing.  Black bears, of course, used to live throughout Florida. I know that there are concerns with bear/human interaction, but my heart always goes out to the bears. And in the case of Billy Pitchford’s Martin County bear, that bear was just trying to get the honey. Isn’t that what we’re all trying to do? The best way forward for bears, and for people, is to continue to create and connect Florida’s wildlife corridors.

Enjoy!

Jay’s comments:

Florida bear ranges and BMUs: https://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/wildlife/bear/bmu/

Mother and Cubs

Living with bears!

Links:

FWC: https://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/wildlife/bear/numbers/

FWC2: https://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/wildlife/bear/

Orlando Sentinel,2014:”Bearlando:”http://interactive.orlandosentinel.com/bears/index.html

Washington Post 2015: “Florida Bear Hunt:”https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2015/10/29/298-bears-killed-in-florida-hunt-that-ignored-science/?utm_term=.c176425b096b

Other post on subject JTL:

https://jacquithurlowlippisch.com/tag/hutchison-island-black-bears/

https://jacquithurlowlippisch.com/tag/controversies-of-bear-hunting-florida/

https://jacquithurlowlippisch.com/2014/02/25/black-bears-of-hutchinson-island-our-wild-past/

Investment FLORIDA WILDLIFE CORRIDORS, or greenways,  is the best way to help bears and other wildlife move through out their needed range even as Florida will continue to develop. We don’t want to live in a shopping mall; we want to keep parts of Florida wild.

Watching the Lunar Eclipse’s ~Super Blood Wolf Moon~ From Our Pale Blue Dot

Today I am sharing photos of the super blood wolf moon taken last night by my bother, Todd Thurlow. Hopefully, you had a chance to see it too. Ed and I sat in fascination, with binoculars, feeling as if we could pluck this “red marble” from the clear night sky. Included after Todd’s photos is a video, “Our Pale Blue Dot,”  by Carl Sagan, from 1979. Experiences like last evening, help remind us how magical, beautiful, and fragile life on Earth is and that of course, we must cherish and protect it…

This link below is from Carl Sagan’s 1994 book “Pale Blue Dot” and was inspired by an image taken, at Sagan’s suggestion,
by Voyager 1 on 14 February 1990 from a distance of about 6 billion kilometers.

Please see link for PALE BLUE DOT video:

 

Space.Com: https://www.space.com/43071-super-blood-wolf-moon-2019-weather-forecast.html