Silver River – December 16, 2015

For my Wednesday kayak trip today – on Monday I had 13 people signed up (my limit).  By 10 pm Tuesday night all but 2 of them had cancelled because rain showers (not thunderstorms, just 20-30% chance of showers) were predicted for the morning.

Well, the 3 of us had an absolutely beautiful day paddling the Silver River!  Temps in the upper 70s, no wind, calm water, blue skies and sunshine.  Lots of gators, cooters and monkeys.  One of my best paddles on the Silver River ever!

I really wish ostensibly “outdoor” people would learn that in Florida if you stay at home whenever rain is predicted you will rarely get outside.  And usually the forecast is wrong! It’s really hard to predict the weather while surrounded on 3 sides by water.

We paddled from Silver Springs State Park launch down to the Ray Wayside County Park launch.  Nice hand launches at both sites.

Paddling down the Ft King Canoe trail.

Paddling down the Ft King Canoe trail.

Ghosting down the Silver River with Great Egrets overhead.

Ghosting down the Silver River with Great Egrets overhead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The weather was so nice we could even see the statues in the head spring which can only be seen when there is no wind, there has been no rain for a few days and the sun shines into the spring.  Placed in the water attraction for the filming of an episode of the TV series “I Spy” there were originally 12 statues of Greek gods.  Today only 3 statues remain.

Statues on the bottom of the head spring.

Statues on the bottom of the head spring.

Strap-leaf Sagittaria (Sagittaria kurziana)

Strap-leaf Sagittaria – a submersive plant that floats on the surface of the river.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Egret (Ardea alba) and American White Ibis (Eudocimus albus) roosting in trees.

Great Egret (Ardea alba) and American White Ibis (Eudocimus albus) roosting in trees.

Cooters sunning on a log.

Cooters sunning on a log.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little gator hiding in the vegetation - about 4 feet long

Little gator hiding in the vegetation – about 4 feet long

Young gator sunning - about 4 feet long

Young gator sunning – about 4 feet long

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now for some monkey pics.  (Technically they are Rhesus macaques, but everyone around the Silver calls them monkeys.)  While watching a troop of them we saw something really cute. There were several little ones playing, after which they needed a drink.  Four of them came down to the water’s edge but one little guy apparently thought it was a little scary to lean out over the water to drink.  So he/she pulled grasses over to him/her and drank the drops off the leaves.

Little monkey getting a drink after playing hard.

Little monkey getting a drink after playing hard.

Tiny monkey afraid of the water so he sucked water off the leaves.

Tiny monkey afraid of the water so he sucked water off the leaves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Young monkey eating a sour orange

Young monkey eating a sour orange

Little monkey checking out the kayaks.

Little monkey checking out the kayaks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Later on the lower section of the river we got a little too close to another troop playing on the tree roots over the water and the male charged at us.  Not really scary since we were still about 20 feet away, but we backed off a bit and gave them a little more space.

Big male that charged us.

Big male that charged us.