End of the road?
Long walk off a short pier

Naples pier seems like a short enough walk:

Just a thousand feet more and it comes to an end.

Naples Pier is a historical landmark

But, in the time before roads, that’s where the journey just began.

The only way in and out of Naples was by boat.

That made Naples Pier more a beginning than an end.

Ghosts of watersheds past

Age of litter
Geologic evolution of a tin can

How old is this marl prairie?

Judging from this upper layer I would say a good thirty years old.

If this were a car, we’d call it a classic

That’s when they stopped making pull tab cans.

The label was too faded to read.

About a week later I ran into this can floating plain as day in the center of a small cypress dome. It was also a pull tab, thus presumably about the same age, but I was shocked to discover in picking it up that its label read as clear as day. And that was one thick can! They don’t make ‘em like that anymore.

It didn’t hurt it was protected by the shade.

The aluminum on this can was surprisingly thick

Bottom Line:

I wasn’t sure if I should pick it up and haul it out, or let it stay, untouched, as a mid-1970s archaeological find?

Swamp buggy parade
A south Florida tradition

Everyone loves a parade, right?

In early November there’s a big one in Naples.

The first swamp buggy of Naples?

The parade is an annual tradition in Naples, FL.  Held every fall, it serves as a local reminder that good outdoor weather (after the stormy summer stretch) has finally arrived. (Caveat: we’re still waiting for it this year.) Of course it’s not riding a swamp buggy on asphalt, but getting it tire deep in water out in the woods that that has local hunters and outdoorsman and women moving into high gear.

Or in other words, time to get the buggy out of the garage!

Historical sign from Collier County Museum

Here’s more information on swamp buggies …

Including the difference between a Glades and Palm Beach buggy, for all you swamp buggy connoisseur out there.

ghost of watersheds

Lonely Cypress?
The Lake used to keep it company

If it weren’t for the sign,

I’d probably walk by the tree and not think twice.

This tree originally grew
in knee-deep water along the banks
of an undiked Lake Okeechobee

Or maybe I’d sit on the bench …

And luxuriate in its shade.

And even possibly take note of the old concrete wall.

Today, it is perched over ten feet above
the water line of the Caloosahatchee River
on the outside of the Lake’s perimeter levee

Still, I doubt it would naturally occur to me …

That the concrete wall was the old lock to the Lake Okeechobee before they built the modern one a mile or three upstream.  Or that the tree once served as the sole navigational marker on the Lake.

And the stories this tree could tell if it could speak.

The title on the sign says it all

Fortunately there’s a sign.