Today I adventured alone on a fossil expedition. It started with light rain which turned heavy. I was more than glad to have Jim Morrison talk me through the rain. “Keep your eyes on the road, and your hand upon the wheel.” The fossil expedition was in progress. I traveled north of Fort Myers to a place near the Myakka River, just south of Venice, Florida. A true fossil haven. Nothing but the sounds of killdeer lurking by some forgotten barbed wire fence.
Fossil finds of the day:
  • Shark vertebra
  • Shark teeth (some extinct)
  • Sting ray barbs
  • A puffer fish upper mouth plate
  • Large vertebra from a small whale
  • Crab claws
  • Manatee rib bones
  • Petrified wood
  • Tooth plate of a stingray
  • Many other pieces of bone big and small that are yet to be identified.
The heavy rain slowed to a light drizzle as the poet, Jim Morrison, sang about swimming to the moon on a Moonlight drive. A great day exploring Florida’s fascinating past.
Brian Holaway

I have been a Shelling Guide to Cayo Costa State Park since 1995. Many people know me as the Shelling Guide and Captain with Captiva Cruises over the past 20 years. In 2016 I began solely offering private small boat charters to the islands of Pine Island Sound including Cayo Costa State Park, Cabbage Key, Useppa Island, Pine Island and North Captiva. I am a certified Florida Master Naturalist, licensed USCG Captain, avocational photographer, seashell enthusiast and passionate about the history, people and culture of Southwest Florida, especially Cayo Costa. I volunteer as a member of Friends of Cayo Costa State Park and have great respect for the heritage of Cayo Costa. My goal is to provide guests with an overall experience and appreciation for the waters, islands, shells, plants, marine life, wildlife, history and people of this unique area of Southwest Florida.

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