Another Alligator Story, Arm Lost, Gator Killed

I woke up this morning to another alligator story coming out of Florida.  A woman swimming in the Wekiva, or Wekiwa, River in central Florida had her arm bitten off by a gator.  Subsequently the gator was found and killed.

alligator story

Alligators are a Common Sight in Florida

First of all, swimming in fresh water in Florida puts you near gators no matter where you swim.  Alligators are everywhere in Florida.  I once saw one on the side of the road, at a busy intersection while driving home from the grocery store.  I’m sure Floridians have many stories of alligator sightings.  And anyone who lives in the state knows that they are in all the rivers, lakes and ponds, as well as occasionally along the side of the road.

This alligator story says that the woman was swimming in a busy area – Wekiwa Springs maybe?, but then she decided to swim off to a less crowded spot, which is where the alligator got her.  The gator did not come after her in the crowd of people, she swam into his space and he did what a gator does.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like gators.  They are creepy, and they are killers.  But swimming in water where they live (and that is ALL water in Florida – except the ocean) is taking a chance.

When I lived in Florida there were many sad stories of people and animals being dragged into the water, or bitten while swimming and killed.   A little girl was grabbed as she walked along a pond behind her home.  Dogs are are killed this way too.  Gators can leap up from under the water and grab dinner from the shore.  I remember the story of two teens swimming at night in a river.  One was killed by a gator.  Usually people don’t live when a gator decides to attack.  This woman was lucky to have only lost an arm.  The story doesn’t say how big the gator was, but Fox news said it was 8 feet long.

Alligators grab their prey and then take it under water and roll until it drowns.  That is how they eat.  Like sharks, they don’t target people, but if you are in their space, you could be dinner.  They really don’t care.

One place I will never live is on fresh water in Florida.  And if you visit the state, keep this information in mind.  And don’t get near gators on land either – they can run as fast as a horse in a straight line.  I remember being told to zig-zag if one comes after me, because they can’t turn fast.

Swim in pools.

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Free Coloring Pages, Once Again – The Junonia

spotted junonia seashellOne of the things I used to offer on this blog was free, printable coloring pages with pictures of seashells. Readers seemed to appreciate the printables and I’ve wanted to bring them back. Let’s start with the Scaphella junonia.

I have begun to create some new pages that contain seashell outlines. These coloring pages are free to anyone for personal or classroom use. Homeschool moms and dads especially like to use them in their marine biology studies.

Aside from schooling, these free pages can be used to keep youngsters happy when they may otherwise be bored. Take along for a car or plane trip to keep the kids occupied and away from the tech devices. Use at the kids table at a wedding event. Be sure to provide lots of crayons and felt pens in a wide array of colors.

Kids, and even adults, may learn something from the images. I’ll provide the common name of the shell (what I call it!) and the scientific name, if possible. I’ll include a real photo of the shell on my blog, when possible, just in case that is helpful.

You may be able to find old coloring page images on this blog, but from here on out the pages will be newly created. Some of the old ones may have a reference to “Squidoo”, which is defunct. The new pages will have my SeashellsbyMillhill blog listed.

Let’s start the coloring collection with a favorite shell called the junonia, or Scaphella junonia (scientific name). It’s also known as Juno’s volute. I have written about this shell before. I don’t have one in my collection of shells mainly because I have only visited Sanibel Island a couple of times. And both times I knew nothing about collecting rare seashells. I’m sure I was an oddball on the island at the time, since most people visiting Sanibel know it’s a shellers paradise.

Click on the image below and print! Enjoy…..

junonia shell coloring page

Read a story about the history of, and finding of a junonia at Concologists of America.

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My amazing St Croix Fishing Rod

Dustytoes:

St. Croix fishing rod review.

Originally posted on CartersFLcharters:

image

I absolutely love my St Croix (Mojo Inshore) Fishing Rod! It is a 7′ rod with a medium heavy stiffness and a fast action. The medium heavy weight is for decent size fish. You never know how big of a fish you will catch in the Intra Coastal here in Florida. The fast action is for fast and powerful hook setting for those fish that are tough to set hooks on such as sheepshead with rows of human like teeth.

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The Secret to Collecting Seashells You’ll Keep

collecting seashellsBeaches everywhere have sea life and seashells, but some beaches are better for collecting seashells than others. The secret to collecting seashells you will want to keep, and display, is twofold. First, figure out what it is you are looking for, in general. Do you want a great big fabulous shell for the coffee table or mantle? Or, are you looking for a bunch of shells to use in a craft project? Maybe you dream of finding a whole sand dollar, or you need more cockle shells for a picture frame.

There are shells that are very common and others that are rare finds. Some people search for years for that special junonia or lion’s paw or other coveted shell. Every vacation to the tropics is partially spent eyeing the beach sand and snorkeling in hopes of getting lucky. The shell must not be occupied, which further narrows down the availability. Taking seashells that are inhabited is usually against the law. Often empty shells become a home to hermit crabs or some other sea creatures which move in after the mollusk dies. You can’t collect those either.

seashells postcard

Tropical Beach Shells

Obviously if you want to collect special shells, sand dollars, starfish and sea urchins, you should know where to go to find them. There are no guarantees, but it’s a good idea to search where there is a greater possibility of success.  Know the laws of the area before you collect anything. Also, don’t spend all your time searching at the waters edge. Shells wash up with the tide, so check out the dune area for shells left behind after high tide.

cone shells

Olive Shells

Do your research when planning a vacation, or traveling to a nearby beach. The west coast of Florida is known for it’s wonderful beachcombing opportunities. The Keys also have an abundance of shells, and the water is so clear that it may be the perfect place to easily find a beautiful specimen.

Small, whole shells can be found almost anywhere, and they can be quite striking as well. Even bits and pieces that belonged to large shells are interesting finds. It’s best to just enjoy the variety and hope for something extraordinary. That’s the fun of shelling.

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