I did a midweek paddle today, Wednesday, March 25, 2009 for the first time since February 18. I had been spending the time I normally would be kayaking car shopping. That distraction is over, so hopefully I'll be doing the weekday am paddles again. Today was an afternoon trip. I worked to 1:00, than headed to Wekiwa Spring State Park. I'll work Saturday morning to get my 40. Arriving at the Park, I was surprised at the near full parking lot. I parked at the top of the hill leading to the launch area, and found another thing to like about the new Versa. Four doors provides a nice privacy screen when changing.
Swim trunks on, I dragged and carried the yak to the launch area. In the water just past 2. It was busy, especially for a weekday. Maybe the recession has hit. Or, more likely, its spring break. There were a lot of college age kids.
I saw at least a dozen canoes and kayaks between the launch and Weikva Marina. To me, that was a lot. Saw the only gator of the day in the lagoon just off the launch
Herons were the bird of the day. Unlike Saturday, today I remembered the camera.
Green, tri colored, great blue, blue. I paddled down the Wekiva, past the Rock Springs Run confluence, past the marina, a trip I last made February 3. My last weekday afternoon paddle. Didn't have the camera that day. On the third, I went a little bit beyond the large Indian/party mound, before turning back. Today's plan was to go to the Buffalo Tram campsite, or until 3:30, whichever came first, than turn back. That would give me time to go up Rock Springs Run on the way back. A good size group of 20 somethings were at the big Indian mound. Once past that, I saw only two other paddlers, an angler and a nut on a paddle board. Using his hands to get upstream. "A bit over zealous on the way downstream ?" "Yeah'. For his sake, I hope he was friends with the gang at the mound.
3:30 arrived, and I had not seen Buffalo Tram. I turned around. Paddled up stream, this time on the west side of an island. An island which kept me from seeing the campsite, which I paddled past on the way downstream. Added another heron to the day's bird list, black crowned night heron. Unable to get a picture. Also saw ibis, wood ducks, belted kingfishers, pileated woodpeckers, swallow tail kites, osprey and red shouldered hawks.
I see where the name comes from. The hawk was just downstream of Wekiva Marina, where I began to encounter paddlers once again. I arrived at Rock Springs Run about 4:5o, and headed up the Run. As did this great egret.
Just two kayakers on the Run. Encountered them at the shallowest part of the Run. The lead paddler was putting her paddle back together. "Best thing since sliced bread" I said. Meanwhile, her companion, a tall guy, was walking, bending down to guide his kayak. "Number one accessory ", I said, pointing to the rope I always have tied to the bow. A lot easier use a rope to pull a kayak across shallows then bending down and grabbing the craft. Knowing the Run, I did not have to get out, but did use the old cross country ski method briefly with my two piece paddle. I turned around at 6:00, past the Indian Mound Camp Site, not reaching the wood posts marking an old logging road. The view upstream at the turn. Blue heron.
No need to adjust your set. Juvenile blue herons are white.
As you know, unless you are a new visitor to Dave's Yak Tales, if so, welcome, Rock Springs Run is a great place to see deer. I spotted five on the way downstream. Only one photo.
Three otters, all in this shot.
Click on the photo to enlarge, that will make it easier to see the otters.
I took a brief break to change water bottles, get an apple and granola bar, then continued. Birds of RSR.
Limpkin, ibis, great egret.
I landed at 7:30. The rye grass is coming up through the new pavers on the hill.
Close up, its a lot less green, so I carried the yak instead of dragging it over the pavers.