Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Econlockhatchee River

I got out on the Econlockhatchee River this afternoon, Saturday, May 24, 2008. 12:45 pm start, after working in the morning- the trade off for paddling the Banana River Thursday afternoon.

I put in at the Snow Hill Road Bridge, paddled upstream until 3:15, then turned around. The forecast called for rain, 60% chance. I stayed dry upstream, got wet on the way back, light rain, a few heavier patches, not continuous and no thunder. Classic "scattered showers", getting rained on, but still needing sunglasses.

I saw six other paddlers. More people biking the trail along the River, or just splashing in the water, or fishing. But, I had a good hour or more with no other people. Saw four alligators.

The first one, not the above photo was in an area where two very large gators hang out. They were not in their usual spot. As I paddled past, a big gator slid into the Econ from the opposite, shady bank. It was hot, so hot even the gators were staying out of the sun.

The white object on the anhinga's beak is a fish. Enlarge the photo for a better view. Additional avian sightings were tricolored heron, limpkins, wood ducks, osprey, red shouldered hawks, belted kingfishers, cardinals, blue herons,


and great blue heron.

Thanks to little rain since early April, the Econ is low. Lots of sandy banks to stop and take a break. I landed after turning around. Walking about, I saw what looked like leg bones. A little bit up a low bluff, the rest of the skeleton.

More leg bones, a rib cage, I thought deer, but a close look at the flat skull, top of next photo,

made me conclude it is an alligator skeleton. Looks like these guys did their job.

Some Econ scenics

I returned to Snow Hill Road shortly past 6. Two law enforcement officers were asking a father and son in a canoe where their life jackets were. They had none, and got off with a warning. Last Sunday, at Wekiwa Springs, a DEP officer was inquiring about life jackets. I like the law enforcement presence (must be showing my age).

Another fine day on the water, even though I did not see any of the bald eagles I often spot along the Econlockhatchee River

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