Florida Family Fosslin' Fun
As my four year old son grows to assume his spot at the top of the food chain I feel compelled to take him deeper into the wild. Hs building instinct to hunt and gather (and fill his shark tooth jar) has begun to outweigh my fear of him becoming prey. His only fossil hunting experience thus far has been limited to the beach at the Peace River Campground where he routinely "racks" the tiny teeth that only his relatively new eyes can pick out in the phosphate speckled sand. The number of these teeth it will take to fill his jar would make the national debt numbers seem managable.
So we planned a camping trip to Brownville Park on the Peace River. My hopes were to find Matthew a couple Megs and/or Makos to at least cover the bottom of the jar. He and I started right away upon arrival.We walked along the river upstream towards the legendary spot called, Shark Tooth Island. He climbed over or under every obsticle in a way that would make Survivor Man take note. I was so proud! At least until my wife pointed out the 15 foot wide well manicured path that connected our campsite with Shark Tooth Island. I wrote it off in a "I meant to do that" sorta way.
Meanwhile, like Steve Austin zooming in on bad guys, Matthew started plucking micro teeth out of the gravel. As I struggled to see them, much less ID them, he filled my hand in a rapid fire fashion as the sun sunk behind the giant Oak Trees. I made the call to head back to the campsite to try and treat my eye strain induced headache with a adult beverage.
Morning broke and my number one fossil hunting buddy called and said he was almost here with a couple canoes. "This should get us into prime Meg bearing territory" I thought while I enjoyed a camp fire cooked breakfast. We paddled south down river looking for a good spot to start digging. Gravel was everywhere and we soon agreed on a likely looking area. As we were digging away Mark Renz and a group of 12 or so kyakers paddling by gave me a quick sense of being in the right spot, until I considered this probably wasnt the first guided group unleashed in these parts. We found lots of Bull Shark and Lemon shark teeth as well as turtle shell pieces and lots of unidentified bone pieces. A couple makos and meg fragments kept us digging with vigor. A tapir, camel, and horse tooth later we decided to head down stream in search of more fossil saturated grounds.
In our last spot my wife scored a respectable Mammoth tooth chunk and a few more meg pieces and we found plenty more small teeth to fill our collecting bag and cover the bottom of one happy little boys shark tooth jar. It was a great day with family and friends.
|Peace River, Florida, USA
|Dressed for Megs!
|She was so proud she took it to work with her!