Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Wekiva River & Blackwater Creek

I think its a good thing when the opening photo almost matches the Take title. Almost. As I am on Blackwater Creek, about to enter the Wekiva River, "Blackwater Creek and Wekiva River would be more exact. This is how I spent a few hours on Sunday, August 29, 2010.

Put in at Katies Landing about 10 after 9. As I was getting ready, a State Park pickup with a kayak pulled up. "Business or pleasure?" "Both, manatee research" Nice work if you can get it. She said there had been reports of manatees well up the Wekiva from the St Johns. She saw three last week about a mile downstream from Katies. I told her about the one I saw my last time on the part of the Wekiva, back in July.

After nothing but ibis Saturday on Fisheating Creek, I get pics of an ibis, turkey and sandhill cranes in the first five minutes today. With more to follow.

Blue heron, great blue herons, anhinga, tri colored heron. Sometimes I wonder why I go any place other than the Wekiva and its tributaries, Rock Springs Run and Blackwater Creek.

I arrived at the mouth of Blackwater Creek, above, at 10:50. Saw one other paddler, kayaker coming up the River. I bet he launched from Katies before me. Heard 2 behind me. I assume 2 guys who drove up as I was leaving Katies. I was going slow, after a 7 hour paddle Saturday and a return up River paddle to come. More motor boats than I like to see, 8-10, but half weren't moving. Fishing.

There were a lot of little alligators on the log. I first saw an adult, the mother, I assume, floating. It slid below the surface. Not the pictured one, that was about 10 minutes earlier. Then I heard, plop! plop! plop! and turned my attention to the source of the sound. The little alligators kept sliding off until one remained.

It was good to see limpkins. One on either side of the Creek. I haven't been seeing them on Rock Springs Run lately. Pictures didn't turn out to well. Combine tall trees and over cast skies and flash is required. It can be hard to be steady in a moving vessel photographing a living, moving, animal.

I had thoughts of paddling to the blockage I encountered in July. Two downed trees, one low, one high. There were a lot of fresh saw marks on the section I did paddle. Perhaps someone removed the road block. But, that would have been another 20-30 minutes up Creek paddling, and I was pretty tired. So, I went as far as the high spot on the right bank where I often stop. I was getting ready to take a picture, more to mark the time than anything else, when I saw three otters on the bank. Only got one.

I landed, saw another otter, and heard a splash on the other side of the mound. Probably a gator, I've seen them sunning here. Filled the water bottle, took out a sandwich, which I ate while floating down Blackwater Creek. Didn't want to take time out of the water as the sky was getting darker.

This gator may be the mom of the group on the log. It was just up the Creek of the little gang.
Primal fear may have contributed to camera shake here.

The little guys were on both sides of Blackwater Creek. Back on the Wekiva River.

It rained, lightly, on and off. The threatening skies got rid of the power boats on the way back to Katies Landing. Only saw two. No paddlers.

Somewhere on the Wekiva, an alligator is telling his buddies about the one that got away.

Ibis, blue heron and tri colored heron.

The first mile of River upstream from Katies has homes on the east bank. That explains the background of some of these next pics.

Great egret and anhinga across from Katies, where I landed at 2:10.

A five hour paddle. Which impressed a couple fishing at the landing. I had to tell them this was my easy day, after 7 hours on Saturday. But, the day was not over. I left Katies, crossed the Wekiva, and entered the Seminole State Forest. Where I went for a 9.77 bike ride.

Just missed a buck, above. It was on the right. I stopped , it did the leg stomp, I lifted the camera, it ran across the road. I missed.


Luis said...

Dave, How can I find the entrance of Blackwater Creek from Katie's Landing?

Dave said...

Same way I did. Trial and error. It's on the west side, about a two hour paddle up River from Katie's Landing.

Luis said...

Two hours up river for you must be about 3~3.5 hours for me...Thanks for the heads up. It is high in my to go list now because, after the Econ River, Katie's Landing is the closest put in place for me.