Miss Elaine and I just got back from Apalachicola, Florida. If you look at a map, you'll find it at the bottom of the big bump on the Florida panhandle. (Pronounce it: app-uh-latch-uh-cola) It's a beautiful little town with lots of friendly people. Miss Elaine said they are very dog-friendly there -- and now she knows they are bear-friendly, too.
The town is on Apalachicola Bay, which is an estuary. An estuary is a very important biological area where fresh waters (in this case from the Apalachicola River) mix with ocean water. St. George Island, which is a barrier island off-shore, helps hold water in the bay so that the water isn't completely fresh and isn't completely salty. Lots of species use this area as a nursery so there are many, many kinds of animals and plants found here. They have a very good visitors' center at the Apalachicola Estuarine Reasearch Reserve -- I learned a lot. As usual, Miss Elaine wanted me to get a good view of everything. Here, she is holding a corn snake -- a colorful, harmless snake, which is found here. It crawled on my face and around Miss Elaine's neck! Everyone thought we were very brave but it was fun. The snake was smooth and cool and not slimy at all.
Saturday we got up early to go fishing. This is Justin McMillan of Journeys of St. George Island. He has a lovely, big boat.
I didn't get to fish. Bears fish with their paws and claws -- and somebody forgot to give me any claws! Miss Elaine had to use a fishing pole. Fingernails don't work as well as claws! She caught lots of fish but we threw them all back so they would be okay. This is a Spanish mackerel she caught -- it was really pretty but it had sharp teeth so we were careful not to get close to those!
There were dolphins swimming close to the boat. When we got ready to go home, Captain Justin speeded up and the dolphins swam in so they could surf in the wake. Isn't this neat?