Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Friday, April 1, 2011

Wekiva River

I took a look at the calender for April to decide what Saturday to work.  Saturday the 9th is out, I'll be camping along Blackwater Creek in the Seminole State Forest.  The next week, I'm taking a three day weekend at a location to be determined.  Leaning towards Cedar Key, but am open to suggestions and invitations.  The next weekend is Easter, so, I will want to get on the water early Saturday before the holiday crowds.  The last weekend, I'll be paddling with friends from Milwaukee. Thank goodness there are 5 Saturdays this month.  I worked a half day today, Friday April 1, 2011, and will work 8-12 tomorrow.
I wanted to go the Wekiwa Springs State and Rock Springs Run.  But, it rained a lot Monday. And Wednesday, with very high winds.  Trees down all over.   I need to collect the shingles from my back yard.  Yesterday, rain all day.  I figured chances are Rock Springs Run will be blocked.  So, off to Katie's Landing to paddle the broader Wekiva River.  Lots of debris, branches, palm fronds, a couple small trees down, but the way to the River is clear.  I launched about 2:15.

I had never seen a sandhill crane chick, or "colt" before.   My presence did not seem to bother the birds as they went about their business, probing the vegetation for food.  If they had honked, or raised wings, I would have backed off.  Eventually, I did leave, and  the cranes did raise a ruckus.  Not because of me.  They chased off a moorhen that got to close to the nest.
Damsel flies in distress.  So they hitched a ride.

Two trees down behind the tri colored heron.  Mats of vegetation that had floated down river adding to the blockage.  More mats were on there way, or at least I had passed to floating islands on the way.  The entire channel is blocked.  Fortunately, this is at an island in the Wekiva, and the channel on the other side is clear.

The Wekiva is about a foot higher than is was two weeks ago.  Flowing fast with all the new water from the week's storms.

The weather was sunny, no clouds, windy. Out of the south. At my back. I hate when that happens downstream.

A bird with a forked tail flew overhead. Frigate bird was my first thought.  Then I realized I had spent to much time the night before looking at photos from my last trip to Cedar Key. It was the first swallow tail kite I've seen this season.  A bit late, usually I start seeing them in March.

I paddled past Blackwater Creek, past the section where it looks like three rivers converge, and a little bit past the big cypress tree on the left bank that looks like a hitchhiker.  At least to me.  A thick branch extends at tree top level.  The thumb.  I turned back at 4. Would have gone farther, but I now had to paddle into both wind and current.

I almost had the Wekiva to myself. Two boats were beached at the high spot where people camp and picnic. And a fishing boat when I turned around. The first group was gone on the way back.

High spot 4-1-11.

 High spot 3-19-11.
A good afternoon for alligators.

With the high water I thought I may see a manatee, but no such luck.  Of course the high water made the Wekiva darker than it has been, so I could have paddled over a manatee without being aware of it.

 Just as I thought, I have not seen anyone moving on the water, I came upon two kayaks. Single and double. Far ahead

One more boat, father and daughters in motor boat. That made 6 for the afternoon.

 The crane nest had more protection.  One of the floating vegetation mats must have jammed up against the area near the nest as the cranes were further away than they had been when the paddle began. 
I landed at 7:10.  Last pic of the day, 7:30.

1 comment:

Luis said...

The pic of the Sandhill Crane chick is great. From the awesome department of awesomeness is just awesome.