Despite how it looks in the dramatic photo above, taken a few minutes before the talks began, the weather was kind this year for Friends' Summer Solstice celebration. More than 50 participants visited the Friends' information tent, heard the Seaside Talks by Dr. Ken Sassaman and Refuge Manager Andrew Gude, and walked the archaeology tours led Friends' President Dr. Ginessa Mahar and by Dr. Sassaman. During the talks and walks, the Gulf breezes were strong enough to keep many of the biting insects at bay.
By the time the guided walks had finished, the breezes had died down and the potential for storms had disappeared. The archaeo-kayak tour co-sponsored by Friends, the Florida Paddling Trail Association and the Florida Public Archaeology Network began, led by Friends' President Ginessa, FPAN's Nigel Rudolph, and FPTA's Dorsey DeMaster. The kayakers visited prominent archaeology sites near Shell Mound, including Komar, to learn more about the indigenous fishing and shellfishing practices in the region over 1500 years ago.
If you missed this amazing day at Shell Mound, watch for announcements for the celebration of Winter Solstice and come join Friends at Shell Mound in December.