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The 2004 PGS Flatwoods Tour!

May 1st, 2004 forty two PGS Members & friends visited Flatwoods Ranch in Odessa, Florida.

Clink on any picture for an enlarged view!

Our group arrives at Flatwoods Ranch.

All aboard the "Range Buggy"

J.B. Starkey cracks the whip for us. What's a "Cracker?" Click here to find out...... 


The heritage of the Odessa area comes alive as we heard stories about open range, sawmills, turpentining and railroads.

Prior to pressure treated lumber, Blue Birds once built nests in fence posts. Concerned about preservation, Mr. Starkey consulted with the Audubon Society. Blue Bird boxes were installed on many of the fence posts on the ranch.

Our guide gave us hands on view of a Blue Bird box and many indigenous plants and weeds found on the ranch from which extracts are used in herbals and medicines..

Many Florida weeds, such as the Milk Thistle, are used in medicines to treat prostate, cancer and skin diseases, etc.

Although we saw no White Tailed Deer, we did find a couple of Osceole Turkey - can you find him in the scrub?
We took a fascinating walk on the 450-ft. board walk into the cypress swamp for a close up view of the wonders of nature.

Our guide pointed out various native vegitation.

Beautiful view of the cypress swamp.


A quiet pause to view mother nature at her best.
Peaceful and serene view of nature.

Sampling the fragrant Sweet Bay leave and learning about the air plants and ferns.

Blooming Duckweed abounds

Duckweed (Lemnaceae) the smallest flowering plant in the world are found in this cypress swamp.
Returning to the Range Buggy.

5 year old, well fed, female aligator.

Blue Bird box on post.

Damon Hostetler celebrated his birthday with PGS friends today!
The Brahma was hand raised.

Jerry Butts petting the Brahma.

"Cracker Cow" were imported by the Spanish. The State of Florida has been involved in preservation programs for Florida Cracker Cattle since 1970 and currently has herds maintained at four locations.

Everyone partakes of delicious bar-B-Q luncheon.
Range Buggy #2 returns for lunch.

Feasting on Bar-B-Q pork & chicken, potato salad, baked beans & roll, with cake brownies for dessert!

Good food and a cool breeze made the day truly enjoyable.

Everyone said it was a great get together and tour was a fantastic reminder of a quiet, less hectic life in Pinellas County.
The second group forms up for lunch.

Horse back riding on the ranch

Bill Wallace with family and friends being watched by Brahma as they eat.

Beautifully shady spot for a luncheon.