Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Wekiva River & Blackwater Creek

Put the kayak in at Katie's Landing this morning, Sunday, November 21, 2010.  I was thinking Rock Springs Run, as I had not see deer for a while.  But, two fellow paddlers, Luis and Joanne, had recently paddled the Wekiva from Katie's and posted some great photos.  So, after a good nights sleep, I launched at 9:30 and began paddling down the Wekiva.

Lots of birds in the wide, shallow area near the launch.  I did not take many pictures, just the two you see.  Which was a good thing as it got me in position for the highlight of the day.  Just down River of Wekiva Haven I heard something in the water.  Deer?  Louder.  Bear?  I rounded a bend and a deer began to cross the River.

 And another.
And another, does and bucks, maybe 5 in all.  I had a childhood flashback.  Thidwick the Moose. One stayed on the side they came from.  The deer began to run in the forest on the west bank.  Grunting from, I assume, one of the bucks chasing a doe.  A doe came back into the water, a buck in pursuit. They ran on the water's edge, then back into the woods.
It was great to watch.  I've seen, and got a photo of one deer crossing the much narrower Rock Springs Run.  Seeing a mini herd cross the Wekiva was special.

My fellow paddlers saw big alligators on their recent trips.  So did I.

 These two were so big they were hard to get in the same frame.  You can barely spot the tail of the 2nd, in the water, left.

Saw otters.  Three times. Unable to get any photos.

The gators were more cooperative, even smiling for the camera.

Arrived at Blackwater Creek at 11:15, a hour 45 minutes from Katie's. Paddled to my break spot.

 I went a but past the high point, wanting to see of the obstacle up Creek had been cleared.  I know a large group paddled the Creek a few weeks ago, so I figured it was cut away.  It was.

I took my break at noon, taking the only wildlife pic on the Creek.

Down Blackwater and back on the Wekiva at 12:50.

I saw two kayakers, fishing, on the Wekiva.  One guy coming up Blackwater as I came back down. He had a red kayak. Different brand.   I'm just glad I wasn't wearing the same gold paddling.net t-shirt that he had on.  Wonder if he got it recently as I did in  buy 2 get 1 free sale.

I need my birding friends help. What kind of duck are these?

 Don't need help with turtles and great blue herons.

I was able to capture several belted kingfishers.  And a red bellied woodpecker.  Which has a redder head than the red headed woodpecker.
Florida Fall Colors

The bigger gators were gone, but plenty were still out.

 Saw some turkeys in the woods, to deep for a photo.  To bad, would have been perfect for the last Tale before Thanksgiving.

 I told myself I would stop taking photos of great blue herons.  I could not help myself.

 I landed at 2:45.   Happy Thanksgiving.  I'm going to Key West.   I will kayak, of course. But chances are, no new Tales posted until Sunday night.   Will have family photos, with the two newest members, mixed in with the paddling pics.


Joanne said...

Great pics of the swimming deer!

Beverly Hill said...

I think when I finally get around to paddling in that neck of the woods that I might give you a holler. :)

Dark Knight said...

Daaaaaannnnggggg!!!! Great pics of the deers crossing the river.


When my wife sees those pics she is going to want to go back.

Looks like I missed the entrance to Blackwater Creek. I thought that it was an area where a large tree was blocking it. Obviously I was wrong.

Dave said...

BH, don't holler, whisper.

DK, I think I saw what you thought was Blackwater Creek. I don't think you went far enough.

Dark Knight said...

Good. Now I have an excuse to go back as soon as possible.

Joanne said...

My best guess for the ducks is female Hooded Merganser, but that is really a guess.
This has become one of my favorite places to paddle, a little further from home than RSR, but such an easy launch and so much wildlife.
I guess that will change when work on the new highway begins....

Dave said...

Joanne, taking another look at the Cornell U site, I'd say your guess is correct. As far as the new highway, I'll believe it when I see it. Perhaps the construction will just push the wildlife north of Katie's.