Thursday, October 31, 2013

Silver Springs State Park, Part 2

Another day of adventure at Silver River. Donna, Soos, me and the dogs hiked the Swamp Trail to the river.
 Crossing the swamp on a boardwalk.
 Cypress trees and knees
 Overlooking the Silver River at the end of the trail.

Just wait quietly and you'll see lots of things, like turtle noses,
 Kayakers....there's a Little Blue Heron landing beside a Moorhen in the leaves.
 Big fish.....mullet?
Too many gators to find me swimming in this river, but it didn't stop this guy.
 Molly says, "What's that?"
 Thistle says, "I'll get him!"
 There was more kayaking to be done. Margie and Roger and Linda all rented kayaks. No photo because they got off ahead of us. 
 Donna and I used my kayaks to go down the river. Donna is in my inflatable.
 Airboat going slow, trying to be quiet.
 A replica of old Florida, living in the swamps.

 Donna, getting the hang of paddling.
 Black-crowned Night Heron
 Green Heron with a turtle.
I can't seem to remember to bring my camera to the evening meal gatherings, but we have been eating very well. Nan joined us on Wednesday, so now we are 6.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Get together at Silver Springs State Park, Part 1

A group of my Women RV friends and I are having a get-together at Silver Springs State Park. This is Margie and Roger's site and Linda's site in the background.
My site, Soos' red truck (travel trailer is hidden), and Donna's RV in the background.
Monday morning walk with the dogs. Donna and Maggie, Soos with Dinah and Molly.
Scenes along the River Trail....Live Oak trees.
Saw several deer, but liked this picture best of mama and fawn.
Tarzan-type vines
The kayak ramp at the river. Morning fog on the water.
Green Heron and Pied-billed Grebe.
Another shot of the Green Heron.
Silver River State Park has recently taken over the former Silver Springs Attraction making it part of the park, now called Silver Springs State Park. They built a new kayak/canoe launch at the headwaters, so some of us decided to try it out. Donna and Soos rented a canoe to paddle the newly created loop trail near the headwaters. I put in with my kayoo and will paddle downstream to the other ramp near the campground.
Donna is in front; Soos, the more experienced paddler, is in the rear. Donna is not sure she likes being up so high.
Soos was worried about the 2 hour time limit, so she zoomed off pretty fast. Later she relaxed when she realized there was plenty of time.
One of the Silver Springs attraction boat rides used this side channel, but kayaks have never before been allowed on it. Some of the former history displays are still there. This is a replica of Fort King which was used in the Seminole Wars.
Checking out the wildlife...
More remains of the attraction. These buildings will be removed and the area allowed to return to its natural state.
Yellow-bellied Sliders
Donna and Soos are at the gate that leads back out on the main part of the river. That's a Little Blue Heron behind them.
Little Blue Heron
This Great Blue Heron is focused on his prey...
He ought to be looking behind him.

We are now paddling upstream to the main springs.
More turtles. They are liking the warm sunshine.
He likes it too.
Tri-colored Heron
Donna and Soos
Approaching the main spring.
It is very deep. Don't look down, Donna!
Donna doesn't like heights.
So she couldn't really enjoy the beauty of the springs.
The famous Glass Bottom Boats are still running, operated by a concessionaire. Donna and Soos took my car back to the campground. We'll paddle back.
Female anhinga drying her wings. You can tell she's female because of the blond neck.
Oh yeah, he's a big one.
The kayoo works great on this kind of water....just glides along as I take pictures.

Cormorant swimming. I love their blue eyes.
Big Gar
Nice composition don't you think?
Kayoo shadow

Another Green Heron
Common Moorhen
Belted Kingfisher
Great Egret among the Cypress Knees
Lots of Green Herons on the river today.
White Ibis
Three Comorant Sentinels
Big daddy gator
This is a male anhinga, with a black neck.
Maybe a catfish?
Little Blue Heron
Back at the campground, linda is cooking dinner. For an informal get-together, we sure know how to eat.
 Left-to-right: Soos, Roger and Margie, Linda, me, Donna
Stay tuned....that was just the first full day.