Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Winter Park Chain of Lakes

My weekly Wednesday morning paddle had me at Fort Maitland Park this morning, launching under the watchful eye of a tri colored heron at 8:30.
I decided to paddle the Winter Park portion of the chain, and so after paddling east out of the launch, headed south on Lake Maitland.

To Kraft Azalea Gardens.

Into the Venetian Canal.

Lake Osceola.

Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Garden at the south end of Lake Osceola.
Just before entering the Fern Canal.

Into Lake Virginia, Rollins College on the north shore.
Shortest canal on the Chain, Genius Canal to Lake Mizel. And back.

I could hear a peacock squawking as I paddled in Lake Mizel. Did not see it as I paddled the Lake Mizel side and then the Lake Virginia side of some of the nicest property in Florida. Mansions with lake frontage and backage. Into the Fern Canal for the return trip.

Another look at Albin Polask's art.

Into the Venetian Canal.

The opening photo is coming out out the Canal into Lake Maitland.

My Mom reads this stuff, so I won't write what rhymes with duck.
Speaking of sex, the song may be "Green Eyed Lady" but its the male anhinga that gets iridescent eyes in mating mode.
I landed at 11:00 am. More folks on the water than usual for a weekday morning. A sculler, 3 kayakers, several fishing boats and some wake boarders. More trailers in the parking lot than I have seen before.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Rock Springs Run

I stayed close to home today, Sunday, April 25, 2010 and went to Wekiwa Springs State Park. A 12 mile drive instead of Saturday's 145 mile trek to Myakaka River State Park. The winds that were blowing yesterday near Sarasota moved north. But, as you know if you've been reading these Tales, Rock Springs Run is well protected, a good place to go on a windy day. Yesterday's wind, by the way, was averaging 21 miles and hour. No wonder I was so tired.
Back to today. I was on the Wekiva River at 8:40.

This yellow crowned night heron is half of a nesting pair on the Wekiva River. I'm pretty sure that clump of sticks to the bird's right and above is the nest. I think I saw a head poke out. The bird was on a tree a little bit down river from the nest. It grabbed some nest material and flew to the nest, high in a nearby tree. I followed. I saw this pair about a month ago, as did another paddler who often canoes Rock Springs Run. I wondered how the herons would handle all the commotion, as they are not to far from the Park launch, in a high traffic area. The answer is building the nest high above the water. I bet most people never see it, or the night herons.

Speaking of people, one canoe on the 20 minute Park to Rock Springs Run paddle. A rental from Wekiva Marina/Island.
On to Rock Springs Run.

Saw an otter, and a deer. Very young buck. Nubs were antlers will be come fall. Unable to get a photo of either. Said hi to campers at Otter and Indian Mound Camps. And hello to a deer before reaching Big Buck Camp.

I thought going into the trip I'd turn around after two hours. Cut it five minutes, turning back here.
Blue heron, tri colored heron, and great egrets.

Saw another deer, or maybe the same one I photoed on the way up. Same side of the Run, but further downstream. Just before Indian Mound.
As morning moved to afternoon people began coming up the Run. More than I usually see. Perhaps the wind at their backs made folks over confident. Three people asked "How far to the spring?" "7-8 miles". Obviously, not Dave's Yak Tales readers. Paddlers leave Wekiwa Springs, paddle for 30 minutes, see a sign pointing to Rock Springs this way, Wekiwa Springs that, and think, we just left Wekiwa Springs, Rock Springs can't be that far. Wrong. The first guy I saw was actually headed back down the Run. I think he knew how far it was. We had seen each other before, a few Sunday's ago on Blackwater Creek.

The stretch from the confluence back to Wekiwa Springs State Park was crowded with folks from the Park and Wekiva Marina. The latter must not do a good job of inventory. One of their green canoes was at the Park Wednesday morning. Still there today.

Due to the crowd I did not snorkel the Spring. I did ride my bike on the Park Road. That makes four short rides my last four weekend paddles. Trying to get the legs busy as I need to round into shape instead of just being round.