Another trip on the Ocklawaha River yesterday on a quest for hidden springs exposed now by the draw-down on Rodman Reservoir. Only found one, but it was a knockout. Loads of birds – especially Little Blue Heron and Great Blue Heron – and lots of gators.
14.5 paddling miles to do less than 12 river miles. With the water lowered 7-8 feet it’s a maze of floating and rooted vegetation.
We paddled from Eureka West ramp to the temporary ramp at Orange Springs. The ramp at Eureka West is very nice with a circular drive and picnic table in the middle. But the ramp itself is very, very slippery. Be careful getting in and out of your kayak there. The temporary setup at Orange Springs is simply a bull-dozed and compacted peninsula created to provide a boat launch area during the draw-down when the regular ramp in the park is high and dry. We found several places to land at the end of the man-made peninsula, although some areas are muddier than others.
Lunch break at Cannon Spring
Cannon spring showing strong flow
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)
Limpkin (Aramus guarauna)
A little gator – about 4 feet
A medium sized gator – about 6 feet
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)
Wood Stork (Mycteria americana)
Another day on the water. What can I say? It’s great living in paradise with water all around! This time a stretch on the Ocklawaha River near Ft McCoy, Florida. We paddled from Gores Landing County Park ($5 parking fee) to Eureka West boat ramp – about 9 paddling miles.
We saw a couple of young gators, Great Blue Heron, Little Blue Heron, Great Egret, Yellow-bellied Sliders, Pileated Woodpeckers, 2 Great Horned Owls, lots of Pickerelweed and Water Hemlock, and Coreopsis. And a gazillion dragonflies and damselflies. At one point I counted 47 damselflies just on the bow section of my red kayak!
We shared a great lunch afterwards at the Gold Skillet on CR 316 in Ft McCoy.
Floating down the Ocklawaha River
Young gator – about 5 foot – sunning on a log
Blue-fronted Dancer Damselfly (Argia apicalis)
Gray-green Clubtail dragonfly (Arigomphus pallidus)
Pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata) A beautiful Florida native aquatic plant
Closeup of Pickerelweed