Bed races, fireworks – what an anniversary weekend!

Friday was of-course a day off … so I figured I would catch up on the missed Canada Day celebration by enjoying the American party.
We headed downtown to watch the annual bed races before meeting up with Krishen’s family who are visiting from Victoria. Following the races we headed over for some time at the beach. And for the first time since arriving the flags were flying red – due to an approaching thunderstorm. Though the flag returned to yellow for a while, they eventually closed the beach due to possible lightening. [flag signal legend: green signals OK, yellow is caution, red is closed, and blue is closed due to marine life ]
side note:
A great party weekend, the mess that people left as the beach emptied was just horrid. Never have I seen anything quite like it – beer cans, papers, bags, etc were left to cover the white sand. Horrible.

Later that evening, after dinner, we returned to downtown for the 4th of July fireworks. And they spent the money – sending dozens of large, loud, explosives into the air. Funny thing was that the general public was having fun firing their own shows off in the parking lots, streets, and on the beaches. We saw more fireworks in the streets that Victoria puts on during their entire show. Everyone, however, stopped to watch when the main show started. Not to be too critical, I thought the show could have used a lot of improvement. First off; they used white, red, and green as their main color combination which gave the effect of christmas or new years more than anything. Second; they over used a bright “flash” rocket that cause a blinding effect making it hard to see the actual watch the show. Third; they had about 5 encores that did not seem to have any climatic conclusion. Basically, I felt that while it went on for quite a while it did not tell any kinda of a story and thus left us feeling that something was missing. To date, the best show has been at the “Symphony of Fire” festival (2002) in Vancouver – think combining the show with music really adds the extra ‘touch’. The fireworks definitely had some very amazing aspects to it and I was glad we headed down there – hope Krishen manages to post some of the pictures he captured 🙂
Today (Saturday) we headed back down to Venice beach just to get out of the house. And while we did not find any shark teeth, we did get to see a lot more marine life this time. There were crabs scurrying about the bottom while we snokled around. Fish both swimming in schools, while others chose to lie hidden in the sand. However, the big find actually came from other member of the public. A Horseshoe Crab was found by someone and investigated by many, eventually lying on the beach. Melissa and I decided to grab it and bring it back to the house after a quick examination found it to be quite dead. Seems some creature managed to flip the crab over and enjoy a nice meal. However, the Horseshoe Crab remained in excellent shape (besides being dead). Tomorrow we will call up Mote and see if they would like it for a display.
Turns out that the Horseshoe Crab is not actually a crab but more of a sea going spider. Classed as a Arthropod, it is in the same family as a spider or scorpion. While they are found here in Florida, they seem to reside mostly up towards Delaware and New York.
Some interesting finds on the Internet:
– Some quick facts on the Horseshoe crab.
– Florida Marine Research Institute is doing a survey on mating Horseshoe crabs in Florida.
– Older than most currently living specimens, Delaware has a good detail of information on this “Living Fossil”

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