Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Silver River

Happy Mother's Day to my Mom and all the mom's in my family.  Monica, Anne, Eileen, Clare, and the two first time Mother's Day celebrants, Elena and Camila.  I have a few more mother and child photos from Saturday's paddle on the Silver River.  I was thinking of paddling the Myakka River, or maybe the Chassahowitzka.  But, when I woke up about 6 am, I thought, this would be a good day for the Silver River.  It also was a good day to go back to sleep, but, what the heck, I was up, so off I went.

In the water at 8:20.  Three cars in the Ray's Wayside lot.  Another arrived and launched her kayak before me.  Must be a local, and did not have to use the facilities after a 90 mile drive.  First pic, blue heron, too blurry to post. Second photo
I had passed the first kayaker, and saw two more ahead.  Heard a crashing sound in the trees. Boy, those people are loud.  Wait, its the monkeys that are loud.  A good sized troop, all ages and sizes.  I took the picture you see, and kept going.  I'm generous, letting the pair who got there first, and the kayaker I had passed, now arriving as I stopped, have an intimate monkey encounter.  Or, am I selfish ?  Wanting a troop for myself.  I'd say the latter.

Great blue herons and wood ducks.

More of the above, plus alligator and turtles.
 By leaving the kayakers behind at the monkeys, I had the Silver River to myself for most of the rest of the way up River.  It wasn't until  I neared the theme park area that I saw more people.  Two canoes that had launched from Silver River State Park, the half way point for me.  They were on the way back.  The wood structure behind the cormorant is an overlook at the State Park.
Just out of the frame in the above photo, to the left, is an alligator.  At first I thought mother wood duck was chirping at me.  But, the gator posed a greater threat, so she put herself between the alligator and her children.  That's what mother's do.
Moorhen mom and chicks.

I was pleased to see this at the tour boat dock.

Notice how the gumball machine is not inside the box?  You know, put a quarter in, get food to toss to wildlife.  Blame, or credit me, and others from the Greenwave Forum for getting this taken out.  Or, maybe its just being refilled.

Over the main Spring.
10:20 am, two hours after I began. Time, and place, this is the Silver's source, to head back.
Anhinga breakfast.

 I was looking at nesting cormorants when I heard a rustle behind me.

I usually don't see solo monkeys, and when I do, they are bigger.  Perhaps this one disappointed his mother.  Here are the nesting cormorants.

 Female anhingas in the same tree.

 Hopefully, the above gator's mom told him to "play nice"
 Another solitary, well hidden monkey.  High in a palm tree.

Green heron

Another photo for Mother's Day.

I'm liking the new camera. Canon Powershot Elph HS 100.  Except for one thing.  When in the water tight case, it is limited to four settings, out of sixteen or so.  The old camera and case accessed all settings.  Which were less, but the new doesn't let you use flash in the case.  But, it still works.  All pics on the River were taken with the camera in case, on "Automatic"

 Always glad to give a dragon fly a ride.  They feed on mosquitoes.

I still had not had my private audience with a monkey troop. And was afraid it would not happen. Two boat loads of people were watching a group of monkeys, with a third motor boat coming up River. I watched from a distance. The boaters left. Power boaters don't have paddler's patience.

A video.

I landed at 1:20, a five hour paddle.  I did the short Silver River paddle, not continuing on to the Ocklawaha River as I sometimes do.  Just before I got to the canal that leads from Ray's Wayside to the Silver River, a couple passed me. I saw his green tee shirt from behind, and thought, that shade looks familiar.  When I landed, I saw the front.  Green Bay Packers. Another Packer kayaker.

After paddling the Silver River, and paddling over, but not being able to swim several springs, I like to visit either Salt Springs or Sliver Glen Springs.  With the price of  gas, I thought of Alexander Springs, which would entail a detour of a couple miles on the way home.  But, I wanted to drive on the Ocala Forest Roads that John H. and I "discovered" a couple months ago. 

 The road going north from Highway 40 is hilly. For Florida. 
 The intersecting road, east to Highway 19, is flatter.
I should have a deer photo.  But as I debated whether to lean out the window or just take the photo through the windshield, it ran into the forest.  The Forest road intersects with 19 just north of Silver Glen Springs.

A good sized crowd at the Spring. An even larger crowd of striped bass in the Spring.

There were other fish in the Spring.



 But the stripers dominated.

Last Sunday,, after snorkeling Wekiwa Springs, I wrote, "the underwater pics turned out pretty well. I'll have to take it somewhere next weekend that has more interesting subject matter."   I'd say I succeeded.

The day was not over.

I took the camera out of the case so I could set it to "Foliage" and "Kids and Pets". Figured the latter would be good for wildlife, if I saw any on the 2 mile walk.

As I kept switching back and fort, I'm not sure which photo is taken in what setting.  Other than the pics of Lake George, as I wasn't expecting deer or bear in the water.  Which, of course, is where I'd probably see one or the other.  But, not today. And so ended another day in the Ocala National Forest.


Luis said...

New camera is great. Very neat underwater pics. I was at Salt Springs Run yesterday. Decided against snorkeling Salt Springs or Silver Glen to go back home early. Thought that it was you coming out of Silver Glen as I drove by on my way home.

nAvi said...

Superb shots....!!!! i loved it...!!!

Dave said...

Thank you, both.
Luis, I recall a van with a kayak on top going past on 19.. I thought you and Mary only had one kid. Or, do you need the van for all your adventures? ;)

Luis said...

Mary and I have three not kids any more(21,19,17). The van is the only one allowed to go kayaking. We can use our other vehicle, SUV,but it is newer than the van and Mary does not let me use it since it does not have a single scratch...yet.