"Collecting in the Florida keys" you say that so nonchalantly. Like I've never seen that when browsing at my local fish store. Or like what I would say. I've never seen that while staring at a snow bank in Minnesota. I love Minnesota, but I would love to be able to use that line (collecting in the Florida keys). Has a nice ring to it. I thought buying at wholesale was nice. Try buying at collectors prices.I've never seen anything like that in my tanks or when collecting in the Florida Keys. I'd pull it out.
So after you said that I really started to do some investigating and you hit the nail on the head. I would've never went there without you shoving me in that direction. I was totally thinking alien invasion and here it was a thigh bone?? Or what I would imagine that part of a fire shrimps leg area to be called. Had you not said that it would've never clicked, so thanks for putting in your 2 cents. I appreciate it.Looks like a molt from a shrimp or crab leg.
"Collecting in the Florida keys" you say that so nonchalantly. Like I've never seen that when browsing at my local fish store. Or like what I would say. I've never seen that while staring at a snow bank in Minnesota. I love Minnesota, but I would love to be able to use that line (collecting in the Florida keys). Has a nice ring to it. I thought buying at wholesale was nice. Try buying at collectors prices.
I didn't say what I originally said to imply that you came off in a bragging way, so I hope that is not how you read it. I know with text is is often hard to read the right tone. I ment it basically exactly like you just explained. Like someone who was in a great spot to do something amazing. No harm in living in a place that let's you take advantage of setting that you love to do. I think we would all do that if we could. I lived in Pensacola FL for a couple years while in the Navy. I know that p cola and the keys are a far cry from the same. I think getting to go out snorkeling a few times a year would be amazing. You are fortunate for getting to do that. My trade off for living in Minnesota is that I get to travel to Mazatlan MX for a month or so each winter. It will be the winter when I retire. It's nice to hear people living their best lives.I buy 95% of the things in my aquarium from online or LFS sellers. I do get to collect a lot of clean up crew, anemones and even a few corals (actually, very few corals) while snorkeling in the Keys which is 5 hours from my home. I also get to do some collecting at a few local estuaries and off the beaches of a couple of SW Florida barrier islands. The fact that I get to do that a lot (3 or 4 trips of 4 days each to the Keys every year) makes it kind of easy for me to be "nonchalant" about it. BTW, I'm not trying to brag about it, I'm trying to share the experience here as a way to relate our aquariums to what I get to see in the wild down here.
But I am lucky enough (by choice) to live in SW Florida because I want to be close to the subtropical ocean. And here in the US, southern Florida is about all there is. I lived 30 years in Michigan and 20 years in Ohio. I worked for 3M Co (based in your state of Minnesota) and turned down a promotion there because where I live was more important to me than what I did for work.
If you have any more interest in what it's like to have this opportunity to live by a subtropical ocean and visit the reefs in the Keys, you may want to look over this thread: https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/snorkeling-collecting-discussion-group.412414/
And if you have any questions, I'm happy to answer them. I've shared my favorite snorkel sites which are easy to reach off the beach or in a small boat. I'm willing to offer local info to anybody who might visit the Keys. It's a little bit of paradise and I'm lucky enough to live near enough to enjoy it.