Wonderful paddle on the Ichetucknee and Santa Fe Rivers today. A nice group of 12 kayaks on our trip. The weather and water were perfect for this late summer day.
We put in at the north entrance of Ichetucknee Springs State Park and took out at Guy Lemmons Park boat ramp at US 129 with a lunch break at the south take-out within the state park. The first 5-6 miles on the Ichetucknee River features a swift current and crystal-clear water. Once you turn onto the Santa Fe the river is wider and more tannic.
Ghosting down the narrow Ichetucknee in the early morning sun.
The Santa Fe is wider, browner and hosts more power boats, so we stick to the sides.
The Cardinal Flowers (Lobelia cardinalis) are in bloom, attracting butterflies.
Water-eroded caves in the limestone blades.
Great Egret on the Ichetucknee
Beautiful Cooter sunning on a log.
When is a 6 mile long stream called a river? When it’s the Ichetucknee!
Good company today with members of the Florida Trail Association and a couple of guests. We always try to get out on the Ich right after the tubers are banned from the upper half (after Labor Day weekend) and again right before they are allowed back on again (Memorial Day weekend). It is so nice to have the narrow, winding upper half empty of the tubing hoards and it gives the river grasses a chance to recover.
A narrow stream with overhanging limbs typlifies the upper Ich.
The upper Ich has a couple of trees to maneuver under or around.
Devils Eye Spring
The lower Ich is wider and lined with cypress.
A bale of Cooters sunning on a log. A familiar site on the Ich
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)
A Great Egret (Ardea alba) blurs on take-off
Tri-colored Heron (Egretta tricolor)
Blue Mistflower or Wild Ageratum (Conoclinium coelestinum) cA member of the aster family, but having no rays, only stamens that give it a fuzzy look.
Alligator Lily (Hymenocallis palmeri). Also called Spider Lily.