Running is a big question mark that’s there each and every day. It asks you, ‘Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?' - Peter Maher, Irish-Canadian Olympian

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ichetucknee Cont.

More pictures......

Great Blue Heron:

Another egret:

Timeless image....

Sunning turtles

We saw lots of them, all lined up on logs.

Trip highlight! We were told to watch for a family of 5 otters and we did get a brief glimpse of them frolicking and swimming. Very awesome to see!

Unfortunately, we didn't see the one animal I was hoping for - wild hogs. I guess they are considered a 'nuisance' animal in the park, but I thought it would be neat to see them in the wild. We did see one poor, bloated and floating hog corpse but I don't think that counts and I will spare you the image.

Ichetucknee Springs

We headed out about an hour north of G'ville, to Ichetucknee Springs. North Central Florida is home to numerous fresh water springs and Ichetucknee is one of the closest. It's a state park that offers kayaking, swimming, hiking, tubing, etc., with some of the strictest park rules I've seen. But it all pays off because the locale is absolutely pristine. Saturday morning dawned rainy and a little cool so the park was quiet and we saw few people on the run (Ichetucknee River is about 6 or 7 miles long until it joins up with the Santa Fe River, so as our shuttle driver told us it is a 'run' rather than an actual river.)
A large egret (foreground) and smaller white ibis in the background:

A White Ibis foraging in the mud:

Just pretty river scenery:

The spring fed water (at a constant 72 degrees) is ridiculously crystal clear. These fish were in about 6 feet of water.

The current moves at about 2 mph. We rented a double kayak and just drifted down the river, occasionally correcting direction. It took us about 2.5 hours.