Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Silver River

Happy Easter from the Silver River.  I saw more monkeys than I have in a long time.  Three groups,one which I saw twice.  Paddling up River, and coming down.  I also saw a manatee, a rare occurrence on the Silver River.  A friend posted pictures of one she saw on the Ocklawaha River, Saturday.  The Silver River empties into the Ocklawaha.  My plan was to paddle the Silver River to the head Springs and back, then go all the way to the Ock, and paddle the Ock a little, looking for manatees.  That was not necessary.
 I was on the water at 8:35.  In the canal that leads from Rays Wayside to the Silver River.  Something was moving towards me.  A sizable wake.  I then saw  the telltale double circle wake of a manatee.
I followed it back to the boat  basin.
And back into the canal

 It stopped at the end of the canal, up River side.  I failed to get a good picture.  Another kayaker, who also had never seen a manatee on the Silver River before, told me when I saw her again, hours later, that it eventually headed back down the Silver towards the Ocklawaha.  I paddled up the Silver River
 Great egret

 Yellow crowned night heron
Wood ducks
 Limpkin and moorhen

 Rhesus monkey

A good sized troop on the right side, just up River of an island

Green heron

 Wood ducks

 Blue heron

 Juvenile blue heron
Great blue heron

You have to look fast.  As the prothonotary warbler takes flight at the very start of the accidental video



 Pie billed grebe with anhinga

Nesting cormorants

Arrived at the head Spring at 10:50. Since leaving Rays, I saw two other kayakers until I reached the State Park Landing. One slow moving power boat.  My thinking that people would be at church and brunch proved correct.  I hope you prayed for me.
 I assume this is the same alligator I saw a month ago


Anhingas share the nest island with cormorants

Pie billed grebes

Brown water snake

I may not have noticed theses monkeys if one had not jumped from one tree to another.

Three monkeys

What was this white blob on the side of the alligator?
Not one alligator, two.  Is the white blob was the bloated carcass of a dead gator?  Or a big fish?   Saturday, the bus driver taking us back from Trout Creek to Sargeant Park was telling us how alligator try to hide large kills, deer, for instance, under logs. He told a story about a bloated alligator caracas popping to the surface like a rubber ball after you push it under water, and let go.

The monkey troop I saw on the way up River was at the same spot

So many monkeys, so close to one of the few spots on the River where boaters can come ashore.  I have a sneaking suspicion these simians have been feed.

A few minutes down River, a kayaker paddling up stream said "There a hundred monkeys on the right side!"
 There was one.  The next person was more accurate"Thirty monkeys"  And there they were

Landed at 1:30.  The River had gotten busier, people were done with brunch at Grandma's. The parking lot, which had 4 cars, including mine, when I left, was almost full.  It was a beautiful day, perfect to visit another Spring in the Ocala Forest.  So I did not, thinking they would be jam packed.
 I did stop at the Florida Trail trail head on Highway 19

Two paths lead from the parking lot. I took one that dead ends quickly.
 I know better.  Blue blazes indicate spur trails. About 30 yards to the orange blazed Florida Trail

 Sink hole

I hope this camera saw something more interesting than me

Paused to look for deer on the road
 None seen

 Looked both way for bears. None seen

Walked for just over an hour. Or just under, with one rest stop.  I'm a fat old man