Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Silver River

Kayaked the Silver River, Sunday, October 30, 2011.  Thought it would be a good day to introduce my friend, Stephanie to this beautiful River.  This time of year there is less boat traffic on all Florida waterways. Natives think its too cool,  snowbirds have not arrived to their winter nest.  That leaves it to transplants, like me.  Also, bye week for the Packers, so I could go to to a distant- 80 miles away location, and not miss anything.    The parking lot at Ray's Wayside was less than a quarter full when we launched at 10:20.
 Through the canal to the Silver River

Just in time for Halloween. Two-headed coot.
 Pie billed grebe

First alligator of the day.

 Paddling up the Silver River, I pretty much had it to myself.   One guy passed me, and later, came back.  My paddling partner went to take some pictures, and fell behind.    She can catch up, I figured.  The Silver is a simple river to paddle, no dead end channels or oxbows to confuse a first timer.

A beautiful late morning paddle. I'm guessing low 80's.  Humidity no problem. I don't think I broke a sweat paddling up River.


The Silver may rival the Hillsborough River for getting multiple critters in a single frame.
 When looking at baby gators, know mom is near.  As in behind the log.

Black crowned night heron.
 Belted kingfisher

I was paddling very slowly, waiting for Stephanie.  I needed to give her my monkey spotting tips.  So far, I had not seen any.

I arrived at the Silver River State Park launch.  Landed, and waited for Stephanie.  Had a nice chat with a pair of hikers.  She arrived, and said she saw over twenty monkeys.  Took over 90 pictures. Hopefully, she'll share a couple. 

Flying monkey, courtesy, Stephanie.  I told her I'm glad I can't figure out way to link all 174 photo she sent me at once.  Her photos make mine look like paint by numbers.  For example

Flowers by Stephanie.

 The Silver River launch is about half way to the Silver's source.  We shoved off to complete the upstream paddle.

I may not have seen monkeys, yet, but there sure were a lot of alligators.

Some early starting paddlers coming back from the Silver Springs attraction area, but not many.  A few motor boats, struggling to comply with the idle speed restriction.  (I'm being nice).

The tri colored heron that graces the opening photo.
Over the head spring, 2:25.  Note to first time readers.  The upstream paddle can be done in 2-2and a half hours. 4 hours is very leisurely.

I was glad that Stephanie had seed monkeys, after all, what kind of a guide would I be if she didn't?  But, I needed to see some, darn it.  Here, my experience on the Silver River paid off.  I could hear branches and palm fronds crashing.  Could be three causes.  Squirrels, wind, or monkeys.  From the duration and volume, it had to be monkeys.   I pulled up to the bank, and waited.

Not the big troop Stephanie saw, but I kept my string of always seeing monkeys on or near the Silver River intact.  "Near" as once I saw none on the Silver, so I continued on to the Ocklawaha River and saw some there.

 The second belted kingfisher I was able to capture.  Pardon me while I pat myself on the back.  These flighty birds have a sixth sense that has them take flight just when you think you have them in the view finder.

Eastern phoebe. A better view.

 We stopped at the Silver River State Park landing for a late lunch.  Stephanie and I have an arrangement. I provide the paddling location, she provides the Publix subs.
It was about 4 PM when we resumed our voyage.
 The same yellow flowers that lined the Ichetucknee, Saturday, graced  the Silver, Sunday.

Green heron.

A few more kayakers were out, and some more powerboats, headed up River.  My partner thought there were "a lot" of power boats. I told her I had spoiled her, taking her places with few, if any, power boats.  For a late start, on a Sunday, there were not a lot of people on the Silver River.
Wonder how this ibis was injured.  Hawk? Alligator? Monkey? Fishing lure?  If the latter, it would have to been on the Oklawaha River, as fishing is prohibited on the Silver.  Which doesn't mean dumb people don't. 
Return to Ray's Wayside, 5:40 PM.