Careful, sniff to close, you may get a bloody nose.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Careful, sniff to close, you may get a bloody nose.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Faithful readers of Dave's Yak Tales know that I live in Winter Park, FL. Some of you know that one feature of Winter Park is the Chain of Lakes, and a few of you have joined me on the Scenic Boat Tour, a narrated pontoon trip. One of two public ramps on the Chain is 1.3 miles from my house. So close, that when my car was in the shop, I balanced the yak on a bike and wheeled it to the ramp. But, like a prophet in his own town, I rarely yak the chain. I like wild or semi wild areas. The Chain, with large homes, a college campus, and a museum on its shores, is not wild.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Click the Wildtracks link in that post for more information on these manatees.
Hurricane was not the only critter in the Run
This guy was in the Run too.
Well past the swim area, but inside the canoe/kayak launch area. After this picture, I paddled out of Blue Springs Run into the St Johns River. Headed upstream to Hontoon Island State Park.
Late morning on a beautiful day, the River was getting busy. Thanks to manatee zones, the top speed is 25 mph. Noisy boats making wakes weren't going to budge this boy.
As I neared Lake Beresford and the north tip of Hontoon Island, I scanned high trees and the sky for bald eagles. I saw several my last visit.
I thought I saw one, high over head. I paddled along the south shore of the Lake, in the direction it flew. Whatever it was, no longer in sight. I turned around, back to Hontoon Island. Where I definitely saw a bald eagle. Harassing an osprey, or vice versa. I pointed out the aerial acrobatics to three kayakers coming towards me. One of the trio and I recognized each other. Folks from the Mosquito Lagoon Paddlers.
I entered the Hontoon Dead River, another waterway, another alligator.
Boats on the HDR, all power, most pontoon and houseboats complied with the Slow Speed Minimum Wake restriction, which is on the entire Dead River. They were encouraged to do so by the presence of a Florida Fish and Wildlife officer.
When this osprey left its perch, I saw how big the fish was. Just under dinner plate size.
I exited the Snake Creek, returning to the St Johns. Yet another alligator.
My circumnavigation of Hontoon Island, complete, I entered Blue Spring Run. A satellite tagged manatee was just off the landing area. The float holding the antenna had orange vertical stripes.
Just like Hurricane's float when I saw him on the Wekiva. I landed, put the yak on the car, then walked up the boardwalk for another snorkel. Walking past the swim dock, I heard, "Everybody out of the water "
Must be manatees. I continued on, to the dive/tube entrance. The run was packed. Here is the scene at the Spring.
I left the crowd, floating downstream, dodging tubers and gar.
Head on a swivel. I searched the cloudy water, stirred up by all the activity, for manatees. Saw none. Entered the main swim area, which was empty of swimmers. All standing on the dock. I got out, and asked the Fish and Wildlife Officer"Alligators or manatees ?" "Manatees, and please stay out of this area" From the officer I confirmed it had been Hurricane I had seen both at the Spring and the canoe beach. Here at the swim area it was the 2 pals, Annie and Rocket, hanging out below the swim dock.
Another fine day. Four and a half hours paddling 5 water ways, with snorkel bookends.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
After working Saturday morning, April 19, 2008 I headed to the Canaveral National Seashore to kayak Mosquito Lagoon. I hoped to see dolphins and manatees. I was not in the water a minute when a dorsal fin broke the surface. I lingered in the area, but the dolphin did not resurface as I watched.
I moved on, as usual paddling north towards Turtle Mound. Wind at my back, it felt stronger than Wednesday on the Wekiva. Past the ancient Mound I crossed to the other side, not of the entire Lagoon, but to Shipyard Island. This is the third Mosquito Lagoon/Canaveral National Seashore paddle on Dave's Yak Tales, and unlike the prior two Tales, the tide permitted me to cross over the oyster shells at the entrance to the Shipyard Island Trail. I saw green herons, snowy and great egrets, kingfishers and osprey. No good pictures.
Firebush. Blooming four years to late. Sorry, it was to easy. The plant really is named firebush for the vibrant red flowers. 4-27-08 update. Opps, this is coral bean, not firebush. Hopefully, no kid wrote a botany report using my faulty info.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
I worked to 1:00 PM today, Wed. April, 16, 2008, then went to Wekiwa Springs State Park.
Great egret in flight, afternoon delight. This picture is from Rock Springs Run, towards the end of the day. My paddling day began at ten after two. I had not paddled the Wekiva from the State Park, except the short portion to Rock Springs Run, since January. With the wind blowing hard out of the north, it was a good day for a short drive to rediscover the upper Wekiva.
I saw several limpkins. Perhaps even more than people, most of whom I saw in the first twenty minutes on the River. I paddled downriver for two hours.
There was not a cloud in the sky but cool, 68-72 I'd guess, and windy. Lots of turtles sunning. Surely I'd soon see alligators. I did, but it took almost the entire two hours of the downstream trip before I did.
As I always say, if its going to take two hours to see a gator, get a good picture. I saw two more gators, babies, shortly after I turned around for the upstream trip. Upstream is south, so now the wind was at my back.
I took a break at the Buffalo Tram Campsite, about a third of the way back to the Park.
It was 6:15 when I returned to the confluence of the Wekiva and Rock Springs Run. Wekiwa Springs State Park closes at 8:00 this time of year, so I had time for a brief paddle up my favorite waterway. I spent about 30 minutes on the Run, then made the short, 15 minute, paddle to the Park.
Bird list, in addition to those mentioned and/or pictured includes; blue heron, green heron , osprey, vulture, ibis and swallowtail kites. Just before landing, I paddled over a large snapping turtle, 2 feet long, easy. I landed a bit past 7, an almost 5 hour paddle. By the time I dragged the yak up the hill and got in on the car it was past 7:30. Too late to swim, so I took a brief walk to look for deer. No luck. Oh well, I'll just have to return.
Another version, with additional pictures of this Tale can be found at