Time is a dressmaker specializing in alterations.
Another excellent paddling day, despite the storms swirling around, so I headed back to the Wacissa. The water is returning to its normal level, though it is still higher than it was in spring. It's low enough now to use the sandy launch area instead of the concrete ramp, which I was glad to see.
I crossed to the far side of the river after leaving the ramp area. There was a very brisk upstream wind blowing, which is the ideal situation on this river (unless it's too brisk...). The current was strong enough to keep me drifting downstream against it.
I saw a black crowned night heron on the branches of a fallen tree at the river's edge. I haven't seen them for a while. It watched me as I approached.
I think it was uncomfortable being at my level; it hopped up to a higher branch and pretended to ignore me. Those red eyes are so vivid.
Although not my usual photo subject, this web catching the sunlight caught my eye as I drifted by.
As I was progressing downstream on the right side of the river, a person was paddling a boat up the other side. He seemed to be having a hard time of it, struggling with a too-small canoe paddle. Then he pulled out a large colorful umbrella, which he held in front of him. Given the awkward paddling despite the presence of a motor on the boat and the brisk wind...I'm guessing he was hoping to use the umbrella to sail back to the boat ramp.
It didn't work.
The gators are still everywhere on the river, and it's hard to resist photographing them as they stare at you.
I went into Blue Spring. The water is as clear as it used to be on the way to the spring, but as of now Blue Spring is more Green Spring--still not a trace of the vivid blue color to it. Now that the water is back down, the swim rafts are back on the surface (unless they had been removed instead of simply below the surface before). A tricolored heron was taking advantage of them.
I passed a snowy egret on the way out.
It left shortly after I took that photo.
Speaking of flying snowy egrets, this one passed overhead while I was drifting downstream.
I passed a tricolored heron in a little shady cove at the edge of the river. It looked very pretty in those surroundings. I'm not sure it translates well to a photo (maybe you had to be there), but here it is:
I turned around in my usual summer turnaround spot and started back up the other side of the river. I was approaching a large great egret, and there was another snowy behind it. I decided to try to photograph the larger bird and moved in that direction. It flew away before I even had the camera up. Oh well, I'll get one or two pictures of the snowy instead. As I started to turn the kayak to face it, I noticed that there was a very large gator on a half-submerged log between me and the snowy. Ok, never mind....the current would have pushed me over in their direction when I put the paddle down and picked the camera up, so I decided to pass on the snowy as well. Just then I saw movement in the woods, and two deer, a doe and a nearly-grown fawn, appeared just on the other side of the trees at the edge of the water. They stood there for a moment and looked out at the river...but there was that gator... As much as I would have loved getting a photo of the deer, I didn't relish the notion of bumping into the gator in the process. As it turned out, it slid into the water at about the same time that the deer turned around and walked back into the woods. Ah well. The snowy never moved.
However, I did see another one farther upstream.
Such pretty birds.
The remainder of the paddle upstream was calm and peaceful. It's nice to be back out on the water on a more regular basis again.