Last time I paddled the Silver River, I did not get any monkey pictures. At least I saw one. Today, Saturday, April 14, for the first time, I did not see a single monkey. In 8 and a half hours on the water. And be on the water, I mean on the water. I only got out of the kayak once, patially, one foot in, one out, to get a better look at some deer, and as long as I was standing, pee. Besides the deer, the usual alligators, birds, and an otter. A great day for wood ducks, so they get the leadoff still photo.
So, I did my own blitz on the Silver. So far, two species shown, wood duck and limpkin.
Looking for monkeys, I spotted a two toned cypress knee across the River. A monkey on the knee? No, just a light brown "kneecap", But, behind it, deer.
The cormorants I saw last visit are still nesting.
It was 9:30 as I viewed the nests, and saw the first paddler of the day. A woman who had launched from Silver Springs State Park. She didn't have to tell me, I knew from the wheels strapped to her bow. Its a half mile portage from parking lot to River.
The roost is on a small island just downstream of the main spring.
I did not know cormorant chicks were white.
There are several springs on the upper part of the Silver River. I was looking at this alligator,
And almost ran over this one.
Its underwater. I debated putting the camera in the water, but gators bite. The first one, thinking me a wimp, gave the ol' stink eye.
Two views of a young alligator.
All the amazing wildlife on the Silver River is protected. Plenty of notice to people on the River. You've seen three signs on this Tale. Anyone on the River also sees them.
Cattle egrets. 12th different animal photoed.
Turtles, great blue heron, and anhinga.
I think it neat how limpkin chicks already have the markings, just need to grow their beaks.
Always good to see Luis. Even better to see his Silver River View. Next, time, I'll just stay home, and wait for his report. It is awesome.
He is such a good photographer, he even makes me look good.
Welcome back. If you read Luis' blog, which I know is hard, as his pictures are superb, you know he said people were feeding monkeys. Which has me thinking. Perhaps monkeys come out later in the day, as they know that is when people are on the River. And, people are scum. Remember the signs about all life on the River being protected? And no feeding? Too bad some folks don't think it applies to them.
No fishing on the Silver River. Who do these assholes think they are? Another guy is at the other end of the boat, line in water. I wanted a good shot of the registration. Which I just sent to Florida Fish and Wildlife. I should start carrying my cell phone, then I could report these scumbags right away. Which may have paid off Saturday. About an hour later, I told a Fish and Wildlife officer slowly going up River about the lawbreakers. I failed to pull up the photo and give her the registration, just telling her it was "two males and a female"
Me, a narc. If they had been smoking a doobie I only would have reported them if they didn't offer me a hit.
Pie billed grebe. 14th critter seen between, launch and return to the canal leading to Ray's Wayside.
Which I passed at noon, heading down River to search for monkeys. Once, after not seeing any on the Silver, I saw some on the Ocklawaha River.
The anhinga was on the Silver, brown water snake (15) on the Ocklawaha. Brown is an appropriate color as going upstream, the Ock is a brown water river.
Green heron, 16. As you know, I did not see any monkeys. I decided to go all the way to the bridge that carries Marion County Road across the Ocklwaha. I had been there once before. http://davesyaktales.blogspot.com/2009/06/silver-and-ocklawaha-rivers.html In that Tale, I wrote the bridge was schedule to be replaced. The historic swing bridge is now a pedestrian path.
After taking the photos, I turned around to paddle down the slow moving Ocklawaha back to the Silver River.
Not a lot of wildlife, but then few people. A welcome respite from the Silver, which got pretty crowed on the downstream paddle. I kept saying to myself, "glad I got an early start"
This is the State Highway 40 Bridge, just down stream of the confluence of the Silver and Ocklawaha.
It is higher than it has to be as it was built as part of the Cross Florida Barge Canal. Fortunately, that scheme to widen, channelize, and turn Ock into a canal was ended in 1971.
This may be a pillar from an earlier, lower, span.
A campsite, just past the bridge. To be precise, just past an RV Park.
I paddled down the very clear Ock, thanks to the influx of the Silver River, for 20-30 minutes.
I wanted a closer look at the sign, on what looks like a good spot to camp between the spot with the picnic table and fire ring, and the RV park.
I'd say a fire ring is "reasonable notice"
Nest building great blue heron.
Confluence. Ocklawaha, left, Silver, right.
An otter is under those ripples.
Passed the canal again, 3 pm. A final monkey hunt.
I paddled back up the Silver River for twenty minutes.
To hear people say. "We saw lots of monkeys !" Oh, shut up. Just kidding. Maybe I need to bring food for them. No. It may not be illegal, although I need to do some more research on that, but its not right. And the sad thing is, the person who will get bit is someone like me and not some dumbass tossing donuts.
Landed at 4:00. I was beat. But, had to visit spring I could snorkel in, unlike the ones on the Silver River. The Fountain of Youth could restore my weary bones.
Took the scenic route to Silver Glen Springs.
I had the Spring to myself. And hundreds of striped bass.
I was headed to the Boils Trail when my battery expired. Third of the day. Just think if I saw monkeys. I had a fourth battery in the car. I went to the car, and left Silver Glen Springs. Crossed the highway to the Yearling Trail.
Home to the Florida scrub jay. An endemic species. Much better to see than some exotic monkeys.
Oh, who am I kidding. But it was a heck of a day
Not sure what this orange, black and white bird is. So, I'll end with a mystery.