Home Town (Natural) History

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Posted by MMMMarcia on November 16, 1999 at 14:45:47:

Until I find a nice, historical building to tell you about, this shot of the Wekiva River will have to do. It is designated a Wild & Scenic River, and protected from further development along its shores, though there are plenty who are trying to circumvent that law. The pilings you see in the distance are left from a railroad tram line that was used in the 30's to log the surrounding woods. Cypress trees were pure gold in those days, as an almost indestructible variety of wood used in both ship and home building. The loggers were NOT very eco-conscious, to say the least. When they cut down the centuries old trees & found them full of small holes (which is now called "pecky" cypress), they would just leave them where they fell and go on to other trees. They destroyed such a vast number of cypress so quickly that the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, which nested in them exclusively, could not adapt fast enough, and became extinct almost overnight.

The shores of this river were used as summer camps by the Timucan Indians, and pottery shards are often found in the shallows by canoeists and fishermen. I have quite a few bits and pieces, myself, some of which still have the charred remains of food around the edges. Many of the pieces I have found are decorated with a criss-cross pattern that is known as St. John's Check Stamp.

This river, like most in Florida, is home to many alligators, deer, otters, turtles, bobcat, raccoons, black bear and bald eagles, just to name a few. Canoeing is a perfect way to spot birds and wildlife, as you can approach so silently that you can often glide up quite closely before you are spotted.


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