Ichetucknee and Santa Fe Rivers – May 11, 2016

Great kayak trip yesterday on one of our favorite “rivers” — the Ichetucknee (Itch-a-TUCK-nee) under perfect blue skies.  We started just outside the head spring in Ichetucknee Springs State Park and continued 5 miles to the end where it joins the Santa Fe River.  Then we continued about 5 miles down the Santa Fe to Lemmons Park at US 129.

We didn’t see many birds this trip, but we did come across what we think is a beaver lodge (We’ve seen beaver “gnawings” on previous trips), bunches of Alligator Lilies, a little bunny nibbling on stream-side vegetation, watched a green anole getting a drink at lunch time, saw two beautifully patterned Brown Water snakes (non-poisonous), some Giant Swallowtail butterflies and thousands of damselflies.  Also had a great time wading and swimming in the crystal clear water during our lunch break on the Ich.

Coasting down the middle Ichetucknee under blue skies and fluffy clouds.

Coasting down the middle Ichetucknee under blue skies and fluffy clouds.

Beaver lodge on the Ich. Once exterminated in Florida, beavers are gradually moving back in.

Beaver lodge on the Ich. Once exterminated in Florida, beavers are gradually moving back down into the state.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) and Cooter (Pseudemys spp)

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) and Cooter (Pseudemys spp)

Little bunny munching tender plants along the river bank.

A little marsh rabbit (Sylvilagus palustris) munching tender plants along the river bank.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Damselfly - one of thousands attracted to the brightly colored kayaks.

Broadwing Damselfly – one of thousands attracted to the brightly colored kayaks.

Alligator Lily (Hymenocallis palmeri)

Alligator Lily (Hymenocallis palmeri)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Giant Swallowtail butterfly (Papilio cresphontes) "puddling" on the river bank.

Giant Swallowtail butterfly (Papilio cresphontes) “puddling” on the river bank.

Green anole (Anolis carolinensis) getting a drink on the dock at Dampier Landing.

Green anole (Anolis carolinensis) getting a drink on the dock at Dampier Landing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brown Watersnake (Nerodia taxispilot). We saw on sunning on a log and this one taking a swim.

Brown Watersnake (Nerodia taxispilot). We saw on sunning on a log and this one taking a swim.

Ichetucknee meets the Santa Fe River

The Ichetucknee meets the broader Santa Fe River.