Little Known Facts

  • Temp Extremes on Earth's surface on 7-20-2016!
    These ARE "everyday" & NOT Record Temps!
    Iraq: 126deg. F.
    Antartica: -91deg. F.
    217 deg. spread
  • Sea Levels in Pineland have NOT gone up 1 inch in
    50 years - But
    the Atlantic Ocean,
    150 miles away
    has risen 3 feet?
  • The Dollar's Value IS Tanking!
    '92-'05 ~ $400 oz.
    2011 - $1800+ oz.
    The Gold Story
  • Money Isn't Counted in Venezuela, It Is Weighed:
    10-31-16; Wall
    Street Journal,
    1 Doz. eggs, $150

In 1757, Lomonosov fathered the theory crude oil originates from biological material. The Story

Little Known Arab Facts
The Story

The REAL “Cellular Therapy” Story
The Cell Story

Read: Climate Change "Consensus" a Fallacy

Read: Astronauts Object to Global Warming "Crisis" Assertion

17,000+ children and teens are treated for lawn mower injuries each year. The Story

Pine Island Mel the Guide - 48 Day Road Trip


Hi all is well, I just returned from a road trip that I have wanted to do for quiet a few years. Summer came to Matlacha in South West Florida and it rained as usual. Having seen this happen year after year I thought that this would be a good time to hit the road and seek out some new paddle spots and some new adventures to write about .

As it turned out my daughter called from California and her husband and her wanted to go on a trip with his company to Costa Rica and they needed a baby sitter for the four girls. My wife and I just love going out there and spending time with them. I mean how bad can it be to take care of four pre teens and three dogs.

California is right on the way to Whistler B.C, Canada. At least that is what my wife tells me.
So we pack up the new Nissan frontier pick up truck with four wheel drive in case we run into some snow up in the mountains and off we go. Florida, California then up the coast to Monterrey Bay to do some paddling and see the otters. Mt. Shasta and its lakes were breathtaking. Canada in B.C was a great place for us to get in some mountain bike riding and take a ride on a new gondola ride called peak to peak. The Glacier lakes were cold and clear. Then on to Yellow Stone National Park. We stayed at the Old Faithful Inn for 3 days right across from the Old Faith full geyser. That is really a site to see .
If you have never been to Yellow stone or the tea tons you must put it on your bucket list.
We saw Elk, Buffalo, Deer,and a Grizzly Bear. Then on to Rocky Mountain National Park,which had some of the worst fires in the history of Colorado .. Every day there was a new fire and smoke closed some of the major highways.

After forty eight days and eight thousand five hundred miles later we are back in sunny Matlacha South West Florida. We saw so many different kinds of animals ,sheep,cows, goats,horse,donkeys,chickens, and different kinds of birds. One day I saw so many black birds that It reminded me of the English film director and producer Alfred Hitch cocks movie THE BIRDS. That was the one were some were in Northern California an extremely large flock of birds decide they don’t like corn any more and that pecking people would be a better food source. The word spreads how good this is and thousands of other black birds join in. As we drove home it seemed like I was seeing all kinds of black birds. And I was, for good reason. There are some families of birds that are refer d to by color. The black bird is no exception. From large Ravens and cow birds,to medium sized Grackles and on to smaller birds such as the Black Birds,and Starlings.

As you paddle North America I am sure you will some of these.
The Grackle – The Grackle is one of the most abundant breeding birds in north America.
Common Grackles – the male is larger than the female . He has a long dark bill,pale yellowish eyes and a long tail. His feathers appear black with purplish green or blue iridescence on his head,
The female is not quite as iridescent and has a shorter tail. And the little guys are just brown with dark tails. They live any were between the Rocky Mountains and the South Eastern United States.
Grackles like to eat just about any thing from your MC Donald’s fries to insects ,minnows frogs,eggs,berries,seeds,and grain. He is often times seen with mocking birds. Similar species are the black bird and cow birds.

Cow birds- In North America there are only two species of cow birds. Now don’t get these mixed up with the cow birds we see here in south west Florida the white egret or cattle egret that hangs out in the pasture with the cows, hopeful he will eat a an ole lizard or bug that the cow will kick up. This one is the brown -headed or bronzed. When a cow bird lays her eggs she sits and waits till another bird builds a nest then sneaks in and lays an egg or two . She will then leave and hope the nest building bird will raise her eggs as a foster parent. Sadly only three present of the Brown headed cow birds result in adults.
Crows- There are two main spices of Crows. The large common crow found across the US and the smaller one we see all the time here in South West Florida the Fish Crow.
Crows have one two two broods a year,averaging four to seven eggs per brood. It takes about 18 days with a four to five week fledgling period before the young can leave the nest . The eggs look bluish-green to the olive green-or greenish brown with splotches of brown and Grey.
Recent research has found some crows species capable not only of tool use but of tool construction as well. Crows and Ravens are now considered to be among the worlds most intelligent animals.
Wild hooded Crows in Israel have learned to use bread crumbs for bait fishing.
One species, the New Caledonian Crow has also been studied recently because of its ability to manufacture and use its own tools in the day to day search for food. These tools include “knives cut from stiff leaves and stalks of grass. Another skill involves drooping tough nuts on to the road way in traffic , then waiting far a car or truck to crush them open.

On a sad note, in the United States it is legal to hunt Crows in all states. Usually from August till the end of March and any time if they are causing a nuisance or health hazard. Also there is no permit required to control black birds, cowbirds,Grackles,and Magpies.

So the next time your out on a paddle and see a BLACK BIRD try to figure out what kind he is . You will be surprised to see how many are right here in our own back yard.
As always I thank you for paddling with Mel the Guide and hope to see you on tour or on the water. Tours still from Gulf Coast kayak in Matlacha and other selected ramp sites. 941 661 8229 or the base camp 239-283-1125.

Pine Island Events

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Upcoming events

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Items of Note

  • NOW! 4th of July, 2017 -- Here for 4th of July, 2017 Parade video
  • ClamJamSWFL Video video link
  • 4th of July, 2016- Here for 4th of July, 2016 Parade video
  • Actual Photo of the Calusa Golden
    discovered over 40 years ago

Relevant Quotes

In 10,000 years no one ever sacrificed their arms, their legs, their family or their life for "progress."

Speaking of Iran's crude nuclear bomb technology and inaccurate delivery systems, "If I were the (west bank) Palestinians, I'd be a little nervous." --John Wohlstetter, a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute
"Goodbye, my beloved friend. A great voice falls silent. A great heart stops. " --Salman Rushdie (On the death of Christopher Hitchens, Dec.,16, 2011)

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not."...."To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical."-- Thomas Jefferson

"If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare… The powers of Congress would subvert the very foundation, the very nature of the limited government established by the people of America."--Alexander Hamilton:

“You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else." --Winston Churchill