Saturday, September 24, 2011

Things from an estuary

Things from a Florida estuary: driftwood, nicker bean pod, cat's claw seedpods,
 oyster shells, buttonwood leaves and "buttons," and a rattle-box seedpod. 

Today was National Estuary Day!  I find estuary systems fascinating; they are the sheltered nutrient-rich birthplace and nursery environment for many species of life.  Estuary ecosystems occur when fresh and salt water meet and mingle, the best of both worlds.

I painted this last year after a visit to Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve just south of Naples, and thought it would be appropriate to share today.  These were just some of the small treasures I observed as I explored the trails through the mangroves around the bay.  

 To read more about National Estuary Day and the importance of our estuaries, please visit NOAA's website on estuaries.