Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Rock Springs Run

I had yet to post a deer photo in 2011, the last coming on December 19, 2010 from the Silver River.  I had not paddled all the way up Rock Springs Run to the boardwalk bridge at Kelly Park since March 13, 2010. Today, January 29, 2011, I accomplished both.
Anhinga 1

I launched from Wekiwa Springs State Park, into a mist shrouded Wekiva River, at 8 am.  Felt like high 40's, low 50's.  Down the Wekiva for 15-20 minutes to, and up, Rock Springs Run.
Limpkin 2

Belted kingfisher 3

Blue heron 4

Deer 5

I did not do a critter count on my last Tales from Pine Island and Sanibel.  I did not have internet access, and when I got home, want to compose and post as quickly as possible. 
I got some lucky pics. This flying great egret 6, was the first photo after the running deer.

Wood stork 7

Great blue heron 8

Hooded meranganser 9  Female, I wondered where the males, with a big white patch on the head, were.  Three landed a short time later, but took off again before I could get a photo.  I do have male meranganser pics from Mosquito Lagoon on a Tale a couple weeks ago.

I saw the first down Run paddlers at 10:15, ten minutes before the above photo.  I had not paddled past this spot for months.
Red belly cooter 10 (I think)

Ibis 11

Otter 12 Near the trees
 Swimming otter at 11 o'clock.

I actually was leaving the waters of Wekiwa Springs State Park.  I took the pic so I'd have a time reference. 11:37.  I saw three deer, two otters, and a dozen paddlers on my why up Rock Springs Run.  The paddlers all launched from Kings Landing. I passed the canal leading to the Kings Landing launch at 11:50, and prepared to paddle the most beautiful part of the Run.
 Only to see a rope across the Run with Keep Out signs.  They don't look official to me.  I ignored them.  Wonder if its for this construction site?  Which may be where a tumble down hack used to be.  I did not see the shack.
I only took one pic on the way up.  The above was on the way down, placed for context.  Its a hard paddle. Reached the "Second Landing" Kelly Park tube run end,  at 12:17.
Red shoulder hawk 13

No landing. I turned around.

Paddle down Rock Springs Run with me.

About a 30 minute paddle back to to the Kings Landing area.  Bad timing, a group of three canoes was just coming out of the canal.  Good timing, my memory card was full. Stopping to replace it let the group get ahead of me.

Back in State Park waters at 1:00.

I took a lunch break at my usual spot when I paddle to the Park sign or beyond. A small island. Room to land the yak, get out, stand up. Barely room to pick up and turn around the kayak. Which I did not do at first. I backed off the ban, straddling the kayak, getting my but down, legs over the side, one leg in, then the other, then, oh crap, face down in the water. I stood up, looking at the upside down kayak. Turned it over, didn't seem to be missing anything. Where's the water bottle? There it is. Dragged it back on the island, drained it, not to much water. Took off my shirt, ready to put on the windbreaker I had removed during the lunch break. It was wet too. Water in the rear compartment. If I flipped the yak immediately after it flipped me, it may not have been so wet. Oh, well. The afternoon was pleasant, 70 degrees. I can recall every time I've flipped a kayak, this was number 5. Three on Rock Springs Run. I dried as best as I could with my bilge rag, turned the yak so I could launch facing forward, loaded it, I think I lost a bottle of bug spray, and continued the adventure.

 I rarely do not wear a life jacket. Took it off to speed the drying process.

One of two deer.  The afternoon deer were in the first open section, or last, coming down Run.  The morning trio were between Indian Mound and Big Buck.  All three campsites were empty.  As was the Run.  After the group on Kings Landing, there were two canoeing anglers just down Run from Kings Landing, later, a couple in a canoe downstream of Otter Camp.  No one else.

Back to the Wekiva.

I landed at 5:10.  No alligators in 9 hours.  The containment booms are gone from the lagoon.  New sit on top rentals at the launch site.  I may make a low ball offer on one of the old ones.

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