Friday, October 12, 2007

Friday on the Wacissa

When you put your hand in a flowing stream,
you touch the last that has gone before
and the first of what is still to come.
~Leonardo da Vinci

What perfect weather we are having for paddling! The tank top has been exchanged for a t-shirt and soon I'm sure the shorts will give way to longer pants. This is the best time to be in Florida!

I headed out to the Wacissa, looking forward only to a peaceful paddle--if I got photos, great...if not, that would be ok, too. As it turned out, I did get fewer than usual. But it was a great day on the river and I had it to myself, which was fantastic. It's a little distressing to see that the water level on this river, which runs about 11 miles from the headspring to the Gulf, is down by about 2 feet, judging from the water marks on the trees. I'm not sure how it can recover from this.

A few days ago while on the Wakulla I saw many great blue herons. Today was great egret day. Many posed here and there along the river

And then they flew away. I followed this one with the camera as it flew by me



I had hoped to see a bald eagle today and again paddled down to where they hang out, but no luck. That route did take me through the channel with all the common moorhens.

I really like it when these little ones make a dash across the channel in front of me. It makes no sense, because they have grasses and places to hide right where they are, but they feel some need to get to the other side.

I like that photo above because it tells you something about how fast these little birds move. You can see the splash from the right leg still erupting behind it while it places that leg in front of it for another step.

Not only that, they look kind of comical when they do this (but don't say I said so).

I saw many more birds like the one I had seen on the Wakulla, which are Eastern Phoebes (thanks, Steve, for the ID!). They are really cute.

The otters were out and about and I got several photos of them, including this one

which showed more of its body than we usually see:

I was out for 4 hours today and it was great, except for the worrisome water level. On the way back upstream I went back into the Blue Spring inlet and saw this ibis on one side of the channel.

I am looking forward to more cool and comfortable paddling days like this one. Stand by.


SophieMae said...

GREAT shots of the running moorhen! And I always love seeing your otters. Sadly, I've seen 3, maybe 4, road-killed otters in the past 3-4 weeks. I'm wondering if the drought has made them cross the roads more than usual?

I'm not sure, but your little bird might be a phoebe cousin. It just looks a bit different somehow. DS would know at a glance. I'm not nearly as good at telling them apart. Then again, maybe it's just the lighting. 8-}

SophieMae said...

How odd. I posted another comment last night... hmmm... was I so tired I forgot to hit publish???

Anyhow, DS corrected me about the bird. He reminded me that he's told me a dozen times... not all phoebes have yellow bellies. Anyhow, they're both super captures! 8-]

SophieMae said...

Gosh, I'm hogging your comments here! You're gonna hate me... I went down to Mashes Sand (Ochlockonee Bay) around 1.30PM today and there was a spoonbill amongst the egrets. He moved into a little reedy area and stayed mostly hidden the whole time I was there, so no pics. This was about an hour and a half after low tide, if that helps in your quest.

Kimberlee said...

Those moorhen photos are terrific! You have to be pleased with the camera's responsiveness to your photographer's eye! That is a really nice quote, too. You never fail to find an inspiring word to share. Thanks, Peggy. :)

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Spooky good photos!

SophieMae said...

Peggy, just in case you didn't catch my answer over there... Bottoms Road is off 98, just north of Panacea. Turn left between the 45 and 35 MPH signs. Also, I'm pretty sure there's a boat ramp at the Panacea welcome center. That will take you right into Dickerson Bay where all the good hiding spots seem to be.

Floridacracker said...

As usual.
And you are right about this time of year in FL!

Stacie said...

You're Egret photos are always so crisp and clear. What is your secret? Mine always seem to be so blurry. I have a feeling it has something to do with white balance? Am I using the wrong settings?
Great shots all, I love the otters. so fun..

LauraO said...

Fantastic pictures - especially of the otters! They are so difficult to see here in NJ. You've made me miss Florida!

Beverly said...

I take great delight coming here and seeing your spectacular photos and your views of Florida that most folks don't know.