Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Hillsborough River

The Hillsborough River is all about alligators and birds..  So, they get equal billing on the coveted opening photos.  Even though, there were very few alligators seen on a cool day.  "Very few" for the Hillsborough is  10 or so.
 I was the second person at Trout Creek Wilderness Park this Saturday morning. The first being the Hillsborough County worker who opened the gate.  Open when I arrived.  As was the restroom.  I was on the water at 7:23

Yellow crowned night heron
 Blue heron

 Great blue heron
Great egret

 Snowy egret and tricolored heron

 Roseate spoonbills



Turkey vulture.  I had not taken any photos of the hundreds of vultures, black, mostly, near Nature's Classroom.  But this one, alone on a narrow part of the River, caught my eye.  Then my nose caught the deer carcass in the River.
 Belted kingfisher

Great egret, ibis, blue heron

Morris Road Bridge
 Gives Morris Bridge Park its name.  Paddled past at 9:05



Cool weather, high 40's when I launched, kept the alligator out of sight.  Also kept people away. I like that.

 Come on. Turn

Wood stork







The second and third paddlers of the morning were coming down stream as I took the otter  picture. 3 people in 3 hours.  I can live with that.

 First turtle of the day. 10:36.  Why is this noted? you ask. Because turtles, like alligators, are cold blooded.  Smaller, they retain less body heat, so come out first to re-energize.


 Approaching John Sargent Park, 10:47. A vast armada had just begun their downstream paddle. I asked how far they were going, Morris Bridge, or Trout Creek.  Trout Creek.  Good for them, bad for me.
 Sargent Park is at the confluence of the Hillsborough and Flint Rivers.  Lots of gators are in the Flint, just upstream from the Park.  I was planning to look for some, figuring they would be out as it was getting a little warmer. Now I had the bonus of letting the 7th Fleet get down River.
First gator of the day.


Gator #2.  By the way # is a number sign.  A hash tag is the price of your breakfast potatoes.




3rd gator. Possibly a repeat.  I had come about.

Number 4
 And 5.

 Little gator in the canal from Hillsborough River to landing at Sargent Park. That's 6.
Landed at 11:14. Took  a 30 minute lunch break.  Recharged the camera battery.  In the woman's restroom.  No outlet in the men's. Good thing no one was around but the Canoe Escape concession worker.  One kayaker arrived as I was finishing lunch.  My signal to get back on the River.

The canal
 River, down stream to Trout Creek


 Alligator count to 7.  First on the Hillsborough.


















On the way up River, I saw a plastic bag in the water.  Not within reach, I figured I could get it on the way back.  On the way back, it was still there.  So, none of the other paddlers could pick it up?  I paddled to it.
Oh, not a bag.

Gator 8. This is the one in the opening photo. Number 9, barely visible in the logs.



Not one twisted alligator.  Numbers 10 and 11.


 Three paddlers came up stream, 2 of which I saw on the way up.  I asked if they saw the fleet.  Yes, they were at Morris Bridge as we were leaving.   By the time I got to, and passed, Morris Bridge, they were gone.

Pie billed grebe


 The Goog arrow.  Seems like my friends were not the only ones to explore the wrong channel.  Heck, I'm sure I did at one time or another.
Next 3 photos, cormorant swallows a fish







Approaching Trout Creek Park, 3:35.  I brought my trail bike, but decided I wanted to get to my hotel on the Gulf, leisurely check in, and go for a sunset walk. Traffic is usually terrible through downtown Tampa.  This trip, slowed to 40 mph for a short time, which was far better than usual.  This is the third January in a row I've made a $50 Priceline bid and ended up at the Sirata on St. Pete Beach.   Next year, $45.00.  The first time, I signed up for the "Club".  So, when I go, I ask if I can get an upgrade.  The desk clerk told me she would see what she could do.  "I think you will like this"
 View from the door.  Wrong door, I was one floor down. 5:20.
Outside my door
View from the balcony

Inside the suite


 I had to move the table to get a view of the Gulf.  If a guest is sleeping on the hide-a-bed, she would have to enter the bedroom to use the bathroom.  A design flaw, but for $81.74 once tax, fees, parking, and wifi are added in, not bad for a two room, ocean view, with full fridg and stove top.  Plenty of pots, pans, dishes, cutlery and glassware.  Not always the case at some places.

 Time for that sunset walk.  Looking west

 Black skimmers
Super vivid setting works well on them, too.



Don Cesar



 I never like it when places charge extra for parking.  And have tight spaces.  The spaces near the main entrance to my building were all taken.  I had parked fairly far away.  But, on the walk, I saw if I made one more turn, to the rear of the building,
There was covered parking.  Plenty of spaces. Bigger than the ones out in the open. I lined up with the elevator and stairwell, just on the other side from where I parked.
 Front door view
Balcony view
Not a bad day

1 comment:

Luis said...

True that.Not a bad day.