Sailing Ships and Slingshots

It’s hard to believe that just a couple of hundred years after ship builders were sizing up trees to build their sailing ships I, as a young boy  was gazing gazing at similar but smaller trees looking for good branches to build sling shots.

We are hiking the trails in the Naval Live Oaks National Sea Shore after learning that ancestors of the live oaks we see in this area were used to build massive war and sailing ships in the 1700 to 1800 era. The Live Oaks, chosen for their strength and their resistance to disease and insects, were used as the ribs in the hulls of the ships and were chosen much the same way as I, and probably every other kid growing up in the country, chose twigs to make sling shots.

Do country kids still make slingshots? Do I remember how?

In fact, this area became a national park to protect the Live Oaks so that they would have a continuous source of suitable trees for their ships. After our hike yesterday morning we think they should change the name a bit and call it Naval Live Oaks and Brown Dog Tick National Seashore. Since our 40 minute hike along the forest trail we have picked close to 4 dozen ticks (we weren’t counting  to start with) off the dogs and us. Our dogs get a dab of  Revolution every month, all year-long so they’ll be OK.

To make sure we were safe Marilyn and I needed to resort to a complete personal physical inspection of each other. Good news; we think we got all the little bastards that were on us. If not, we’ll have to try it again.

Just like home

 Back in the north this time of year you will often see plows out moving snow off roads and parking lots. I recall that often, while watching this process at home  I would, while looking at the snow, sometimes think of   sand.

Watching almost the same tractor here on the Florida coast move white sugar sand off roads, parking lots and bike trails I sometimes  think of snow.

“Explore, experience, evolve, and exceed your expectations! – No Excuses!” Lorii Myers

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