Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Rock Springs Run

- After paddling Rock Springs Run just twice in June and July, I was back this morning, Sunday, August 8, 2010 for the third time in five days. After yesterday's no picture Tale, I had to go back. Hoping to see the, or another bear. 80% chance of rain forecast beginning late in the morning, so the close to home Wekiwa Springs State Park was the place to go for an early start and hopefully finish before the rain.

I thought a car, the only car, parked near the Canoe Launch sign looked familiar. I then saw a familiar face come up the hill. J.B. who had seen two deer on her drive into the Park. She was here for a bike ride, not to paddle. I wheeled the yak to the launch, got ready, then thought, I don't have my sunglasses. So back up the hill, almost to the top, wait a second, I have them on, attached to my eyeglasses. Oh well, if not for my failure to see the obvious I would not have see the hen turkey and two chicks on the way back down the hill. But, the camera was in the kayak. I got in the kayak and pushed off about 7:45.

The pictures are taken with an old camera, view finder broken, zoom working sporadically. Hope to get the old camera repaired or replaced by the weekend after next. Unable to focus in on a green heron to add to the pictured great blue and tri colored herons.

The first open area of Rock Springs Run has a shallow section with a couple sharp curves. I was at the start of the first curve when I heard something walking through the water. Deer, I thought. Wrong, two deer, tails high as they bounded off. Around the next curve, the deer had stopped. Buck and doe. Too far for a good pic, but is they would stay as I got closer.... nope, into the woods. Hard to keep quiet when back paddling to take a tight turn into the current. A short time later, on a straight stretch, no problem getting close to the doe in the opening photo. Here are some more views.

Wonder how it got that gash in its side? If it were a buck, I'd guess it had been in a battle with another buck.

I came to the area where I saw a bear on Saturday. It had been in a tree with a bough of dry leaves. Yesterday it had been easy to spot against all the green leaves. Today, I couldn't figure out which tree it was. Maybe Saturday's rain greened up the leaves. Or, the bear knocked, or ate them all. Or, most likely, a guy who earlier couldn't see the sunglasses on his head was looking in the wrong place. I told myself I'd have another look on the way back.

Saw a single swallow tail kite and red shouldered hawk in addition to the birds posted here. For a while, I had hopes the forecast rain would stay away as I paddled beneath a large patch of blue sky. Ahead, things did not look so good.

Soon, it did not sound good either. Thunder. I turned back just short of the end of the open section up Run of Big Buck. An otter popped up, just once. A gator soaked up the last of the sun. Then the rain began.
Light rain, as you can see. It stopped as I passed Indian Mound.
Just as I thought I missed the worst of it, a flash of across the Run, a huge crack of thunder, and it opened up. Got soaked through. Don't mind that, what is a drag is my glasses getting rain splattered on them. No chance of looking up in the trees where the bear was Saturday, with the rain coming down. Wonder if bears get out of trees during thunderstorms?

Rain splatters on the camera case, as I returned to the launch.

Saw a trio of kayakers coming up Rock Springs Run as I neared the Wekiva River, a lone canoe on the Wekiva, stopped near shore under a tree, attempting to stay dry. No rentals out from either Wekiwa Springs State Park or Wekiva Marina/Island. The rain stopped as I landed, which was good for getting the yak on the car. I had been out just over three hours.

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