Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Bone Valley

Peace River, Florida

We rent a canoe in Arcadia for a ten mile paddle down the Peace River. I ask Mrs. Phred to sit in front and let me do all the paddling. This is an effective strategism which eliminates any harsh words about who should be paddling on which side.

The river, unlike most in Florida, doesn’t have an Indian name such as Withlacootchee. Curious about this, I Google and find out it was named River of Peace by the Spanish in the 15th century.

The first five miles is lined with weekend cabins, mostly vacant. There are a surprising number of “no trespassing” and “private property” signs. This is probably the result of the usually heavy canoe traffic and people stopping to picnic in inappropriate places.

A number of the paddlers have shovels and screens to search for fossils and prehistoric shark teeth. The Megalodons swam here during the Pleistocene. The teeth are up to seven inches long. They may have reached lengths of fifty feet.

The river runs though an area of Florida known as Bone Valley. It is a huge area of phosphate deposits and fossils that fuel agriculture around the world.

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