My friend, Jean packed her dogs, Peabody and Beauregard into the pickup and took me out for a tour of the Deal Tract, an area of land donated to the State Buffer Preserve by and named for its former owner, Mr. Deal.
Mr. Deal built a bird tower
and cement pier that extends into the foot of St. Joseph Bay.
The bay is teeming with all sorts of creatures and along the pier you can spot many including throngs of Fiddler Crabs.
The view from Mr. Deal's Bird Tower is exceptional. Here's a more or less 180 view beginning with straight north across the bay
to the east
south to the Gulf
and west towards the mouth of the bay.
Notice the vegetation in the photos looking east and west. You can click on the photos to enlarge. There are various grasses (critical to supporting life in the water and along shoreline) in the bay water that transition to grasses on land then a pine hammock and then, barely visible in the upper left corner, a live oak hammock that grows atop a midden or Indian mound.
Yes, this bay is host to archeological sites as well. This sign faces the bay water, designed to be read by boat.
Examples of shells from a midden.
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