Blog Description

Mound House Happenings shares the latest in ongoing projects, site improvements, scheduled programs and events, plus interesting facts and photos on our unique archaeology, history and ecology.

Mound House

Mound House
October 15, 2013

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Mound House Staff Visit Historic Spanish Point in Osprey, FL

Mound House staff Sarah Desquesnes, Brent Newman, Parke Lewis, and  Public Works Director Cathie Lewis met last week with the director and staff of the Spanish Point Museum in Osprey, just south of Sarasota, for a tour of the grounds and an in depth discussion of the logistics involved in the long term preservation and management of the thirty acre environmental, archaeological and historic site. Spanish Point and the Mound House site share many unique similarities including historic homes situated on top of ancient Native American shell mounds, overlooking a rich mangrove estuary environment,  botanical gardens and extensive areas of native vegetation. Not to mention the fact that that these are the only two locations in Florida to offer underground “walk-in” exhibits of  shell mound archaeology.

Established in 1980, the Spanish Point Museum was originally the home of the Manasota people who constructed the shell mounds. Later, the site became home to the pioneer Webb family and finally the Palmer family both of whom who built  historic homes on the site.

Our staff deeply appreciates the  hospitality, insight, knowledge and experience that museum curator, Ryan Murphy and executive director Linda Mansperger provided. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Spanish Point as Mound House continues to develop.      
For more information on the Spanish Point Museum check out their website at :

UPDATE: Osprey Watch 2012

Previously we reported on the status of our Osprey's on January 28th, 2012 (see story below). Here is an update on how they are doing:

It appears as though our resident Ospreys were not able to successfully build a nest. Brad and Angelina, as we called them, have apparently split up - leading us to believe Angelina's real name was Jennifer Aniston. We will keep you posted if things progress, but judging by the photo below, it looks like the divorce is finalized...

Brad and Jennifer's mid-century modern home is rumored to be worth $2.4 million. Neither party has been spotted at the home since the divorce and it is now up for sale well under market value.


New Residents at Mound House Property

A pair of ospreys has taken up residence on the platform pole on the south side of our waterfront and are busy building a new nest. Rumor has it the pair are expecting chicks this spring and have taken up restoring the old nest to make room for the new additions. Watch for progress as the nest is enlarged and expanded, being built of dry sticks and limbs that the osprey collect from the tide line ,or even steal from other nests!

The osprey is a raptor, and this bird of prey feeds almost exclusively on fish. Our  Mound House ospreys feed mostly on the trout, ladyfish, mullet and other smaller species that inhabit the shallows along Matanzas pass. They will hover above an unsuspecting fish lying near the surface, swooping down feet first and capturing  dinner with their powerful talons. These remarkable birds are highly adapted to their fishing way of life. The talons of the osprey are unique in that they have reversible outer toes, allowing them  to more firmly grip slippery fish from both sides. The osprey also has closable nostrils to keep out water during dives and backwards facing scales on its talons to act as barbs to help hold its prey.       

Learn more about the osprey as we track the progress of our new neighbors in the following weeks.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Florida's Giant Orange Grasshopper

Introducing the Eastern Lubber Grasshopper, also known as the Florida Giant Orange Grasshopper. This bright fellow was found on site at Mound House walking around the outside of our offices. The bright tellow and red coloring are a warning to any predators that it is toxic and will make them sick, and if you pick him up, he will make a loud hissing noise and spray a smelly foamy mixture in your direction.

The Eastern Lubber Grasshopper is reaches about 4 inches, are very slow moving and can't fly far. They reach their destination using short clumsy hops or slowly walking. They feed on broadleaf plants and can become a problem when in swarms. According to experts at the University of Florida, a good way to rid your yard of them is by stomping on them or drowning them in a bucket of soapy water.

- Information from

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Edison Festival of Light - January 14th, 2012

Mound House participated in the annual Edison Fesitval of Light this year at Florida Gulf Coast University. The festival was in conjunction with local science fair at Alico Arena, a plethora of children of various ages visited our booth to learn about Mound House.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Newton Park Rentals

Newton Park Rental January 7th, 2011
Childrens Network of Southwest Florida

About a dozen teens from the Childrens Network of Southwest Florida cameout to Newton Park on Saturday for a picnic at the beach, plus art with David Hammel. For many this was their first time to Fort Myers Beach, including several babies and their mothers from Our Mother's Home. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Tours on January 7th, 2012

Take a look at Parke giving one of his many fantastic tours today!

Banana Flower Dip

Take a quick look at the yummy dip prepared by the Town's own Cathie Lewis. Cathie prepared this tastey dip from a recipe a friend gave her from her travels to Sri Lanka. The dip is spicey and flavorful, and best served a little warm on crackers. Just another way the plants found on Mound House grounds can be used in current day diets. For recipe inquiries, please contact

Monday, January 2, 2012

Mound House Regular Tours Resume January 3rd

Mound House will resume its regularly scheduled tours for the Plant's and People Trail as well as the Stories Beneath our Feet - underground exhibit on January 3rd, 2011. The wall is completed in the room and our fantastic volunteers will again be on site to offer tours. Schedule is as follows:

Tuesday           10:00am - 2:00pm
Wednesday      10:00am - 2:00pm
Saturday           10:00am - 2:00pm

For more information, please call (239) 765-0865.