Last paddle of the Independence Day Weekend was a return to Blackwater Creek in the Seminole State Forest, Monday, July 5, 2010. Third time I've paddled the Creek in 4 days. As mentioned in a prior Tale, my permit is good until July 18, so expect more Blackwater Creek Tales in the next two weeks. I paid the $2 Forest fee, unlocked the gate (note to self, pull hard on the lock), locked it behind me, and drove to the launch site. Saw a deer just before the bridge crossing Blackwater Creek. Three cars were at the launch site. Friday and Saturday, I was the only one. In the Creek, heading down stream at 9:15. Saw a deer, on my left, less than 10 minutes into the paddle. After taking a picture, two deer ran off. The pic did not turn out to well, but, this is my Tale, so here it is.
Other than the deer, not a lot of wildlife. No bird photos on the way down Creek to where two logs block the Creek. I was thinking of alligators making wakes, when one came of the bank and created one. Not the one shown here.
I got to the barrier at 10:40. Decided not to go over the first tree and under the second, as I did Saturday.
I wonder if I would have fit under the log after Saturday's deluge. Here's a little waterfall, runoff that was not there Saturday.
The same alligator from the way down Creek, and a smaller one.
Saw a log that had a few baby gators on it Friday.
Even more gators today.
I know which of these have the best chance of growing into big adults. The ones you don't see, that came off the logs into the Creek.
I finally took some bird photos near, and just past the launch site.
I went up Creek from the launch site, paddling for an hour until I could go no further.
Between the launch site and the Moccasin Springs campsite, I saw the only boat I saw in three days on the Creek. Two anglers in a jonboat. Electric motor, gas engines aren't allowed. The guy at the tiller was in a wheelchair. I took a break at Moccasin Spring, then paddled back to the launch site.
Since I have so few bird pics, here a two more of the limpkin dining on a snail. And an ibis.
I landed at 2:10. Then road the bike for an hour, 8.6 miles, on the Forest roads. Saw one deer, a flock of turkeys. No pics. Cows don't move as fast.
Nor do gopher tortoises, this one photoed from the car as I drove out of Seminole State Forest. To give it credit, it did scurry quickly from the side of the road into the grass as I approached.
I think I will return to the Forest tomorrow after work. Bike, not kayak. My arms need a break after 4 paddling days.