Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sante Fe and Silver Rivers, FL

Nan and I tried out her new kayak on the Sante Fe River. Here we are all ready to go (or so we thought)!
 We apparently did not inflate her kayak enough, and she was sagging, so we did a recall and tried again.
 Much better and we are on our way!
 The Sante Fe River is very shallow and calm here.
Nan is looking good!
 We paddle by some Cypress rooty banks. You can see how low the water is.
 There were Yellow-bellied Slider turtles and Great Blue Herons
 Belted Kingfisher....not a good picture.
 We paddled one way until the river got too shallow, then the other way under this bridge.
 And we can say that times are still good in 2012!
 I tried to get Nan to try out this swinging rope, but she didn't fall for that line.
Since I've been in Florida, I've spent a couple of weeks at Silver River State Park. I haven't had time nor energy to take the kayak out, but I've hiked some trails and been to see the river. On the Old Field Loop you learn about some of the trees growing there, like the Long-leaf Pines, that have needles up to 18" and cones up to 10" long.
 Commonly growing over 100' tall, they are an important Florida timber source.
 Live Oak trees are abundant in this area too. These large sturdy trees have withstood hundreds of years of hurricanes.
 This spiny ball-like fruit comes from a Sweet Gum Tree. As the name implies, people used to chew the sap from this tree like chewing gum.
 Just some interesting fungi growing on the side of a tree.
 This old "snag" has been worked over by the woodpeckers.
 This beautiful Red-headed Woodpecker was seen at Nan's house, not at Silver River, but thought I'd throw him in here.
The next picture will show you some Bear Grass, which local Indians had a lot of uses for.

 These two different species of trees appear to have grafted together.
 Can't tell for sure, but they seem to be connected here.
 This morning I walked to the river via the Swamp Trail.
 I stood at the landing awhile to see what might come my way. Would have been a beautiful morning to kayak, but I couldn't seem to wrap my mind around carting the kayak  a half mile to the launch site, inflating, paddling 3 to 4 hours, deflating, carting it back, re-inflating so it could dry, etc. Getting lazy I guess.
 These pretty red flowers were growing across the river.
 Mr. and Mrs. Cormorant came flying in to do a little fishing near me.
 Cormorant swimming under the water below me.
 Common Moorhen
 I'll be proud if I got this right....a new to me Prothonotary Warbler. Had to look him up 'cause I'd never heard of that name before.
 I love the clear waters of the Springs. 
I find that I'm not enjoying my stay here as much as usual....I think because I really want to be on the road north. Soon!


  1. Really a nice cruise down the river and a great walk. Wish I were there and we would cart the kayaks, inflate, drift, pull out, deflate, cart them back, inflate and let dry then fold up. Then have some Strawberry 3-2-1 cake!!!!

  2. Birdie is just kidding. She really wishes you were here with her instead doing the carting, inflating, drifting, pulling out, deflating, carting, inflating and then folding up and hitting the road northwest! Actually it would be lots better if you didn't have to cart and do the inflating part twice. Great post. Can't wait until I start seeing your post heading out on the road again.