Day 5--A Quiet Day

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Two things you should know, if you don't already--I am by training a paleontologist AND Collier County is one large limestone/fossil deposit. My friend here is having a house constructed. As a result dump trucks have left a large amount of gravel fill on his property. We first discovered this on 3 July when he took me by to see the progress. (When I first planned the trip, it was postulated that the house would be finished by this time and I would be staying there.) A cursory inspection of the pile revealed a wealth of casts and molds with the rock and a momentary closer inspection showed that there were tons of body fossils, most of Strombus, Oliva and other such species. I mentioned this in Monday's writing. Well, yesterday he had a meeting with the general contractor and as a result I got to go through the remains of that pile and pull out a large number of fossils. Much of the field had been removed because it was fill for the drainage fill of the septic tank—what a horrible fate for all those wonderful fossils! But still, even in the remnant of the pile, the small fraction that remained contained more fossils that I could collect in the field in a month of field days.

On the way out to the place, however, I had the thrill of the day, and possibly of the last several years. We were driving by some houses a little further along, toward the cypress swamp. We were also looking at some vacant property and seeing how it might shape up for building. Coming back from that little jaunt we saw an animal up off the road to the left. At first I thought it was a large dog, but as we approached we saw that it was a young bear--more than a cub, but not quite an adult. I wasn't able to get a photograph because when we slowed and stopped the car, this very wise animal got alarmed and loped off into the woods. I have never encountered a black/brown bear in real life before. We had relatively little fear as we were in a car and had no intention of approaching any closer than we were already; however, our friend did not know that and he made haste to get away before our intentions should change. This is precisely how such encounters should occur--to our benefit and not to the significant (if any) detriment of the animal.

You can imagine how I praised God for that little vision. This is one of those things that just make a vacation perfect AND it seems I've had at least one of those every day I've been here.

Today, depending on other factors, we plan to visit the Ford/Edison Estates in Fort Myers. Later this week the Mote Marine Laboratories, Ca D'zan, and other places of interest in Sarasota. Then it's out to Okeechobee and places to the east--particularly to a Bamboo farm near Fort Lauderdale. And later yet--the Keys and the Dry Tortugas.

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How neat that every day and every event is something special that thrills for the moment and will be tucked away in memory to be savored for a lifetime. God bless you and your friend. I know you will continue to have those neat experiences.

I know exactly what you mean by an unexpected sighting in the natural world. It feels like an unmerited grace.

You had better make a change in your plans, or you will be sharing your dinner with Dennis the Menace.Thanks for sharing about the bear. Loved it.



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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on July 6, 2005 10:15 AM.

Day 4--The Koreshan Settlement--Estero, Florida was the previous entry in this blog.

At the Bookstore--Stanley Hauerwas is the next entry in this blog.

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