Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Rock Springs Run

With the forecast predicting a 50-60% chance of rain across Florida, I decided to stay home today, Saturday, December 18, 2010.  "Home" being Wekiwa Springs State Park and Rock Springs Run.  If I got wet, I'd have a short drive home.  And, it is my favorite place to kayak.

Steam rose off the lagoon as I set off at 8:10.  That means the air is cooler than the 70-72 degree water.

Dressed in swim suit, t-shirt, and windbreaker, I thought it would get warmer as the day wore on.

A gator floated where the lagoon narrows, the start of the Wekiva River.  Down river twenty minutes, then the left turn to paddle up Rock Springs Run. I told myself I'd go two hours up Run, hopefully missing most of the rain.

Saw the first deer of the day at the sandbar, a ten minute paddle from the confluence.  No photo, I wasn't expecting to see one so soon.  Let that be a lesson.   Ten minutes or so later, I was ready.  Paddling a sharp, shallow, bend, I glanced back.

It began to drizzle, but soon stopped.  But the sky was cloud filled, more rain was inevitable.

Another buck.
Because of the cloud cover, I had to use the flash. That explains the glowing eyes.  Even more for the next buck, along the Run in a forested area, the others were an open, marshy environment.
Past the latest deer,  a canoe was tied to a tree.  Wonder what it's doing there.  When I got to it, I saw a tent on the high ground. Not at one of the designated sites.  At the end of the paddle, I the campers were in the parking lot at Wekiwa Springs.  They told me they had reserved the Big Buck site, but paddling in  the dark Friday night did not think they would make it there, so pulled over at the first opportunity. 

Continuing on, I saw a otter, just the back as it arched in the Run. Then the first of the  2 canoes I saw all morning, 2 guys in a Kings Landing rental.  They had to be part of a large group camping at Otter Camp, where 4 rental canoes were tied up.  Much to early for the canoes to have come all the way down Run from King's Landing

  More deer.

Doe and two youngsters.  Just beyond them, dad? or Uncle Buck?

As you may have noticed, it began to rain.  Light and steady.  And straight, which as a glasses wearer, I like.
The deer family were across, and just up Run  from an empty Indian Mound  campsite.  A human family came down the Run, they said they had been camping at Big Buck.  Which was where the folks camping on the bank said they were supposed to be. Somebody was mixed up.

This deer, in the tall reeds on the right side of the Run as it transitions from broad and marshy to narrow and tree canopied,  was the eleventh of the morning.  Photos of seven.

I paddled up Run for another 20 minutes, turning back, as planned, at 10:30.

 The buck had left, but the doe and two yearlings were where I left them ninety minutes ago.
 The youngsters had poor mom pooped, so she was sitting down.

But, she stood up, to supervise.  See the matted fur? Rain.  My fur was wet.  I need a waterproof jacket.

 For those of you who think you need to head north for colorful leaves, these are for you,

Last deer of the day.
Making 15 on the Run.  Three which I know I saw twice, so 12.

A very nice paddle, albeit cool and wet.  I paid more attention to the rain forecast than the temperature in making my plans Friday night.  I don't think it got above the low sixties.

 For some reason, it seems the sky is always blue over Wekiwa Springs
I landed at 12:40.  Other than the returning campers I mentioned earlier, no one was in Wekiwa Springs State Park. Would have been nice to stay, take a hike, maybe a swim, but I was wet and cold, so I went home.  My real home.

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