Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Good Day Sunshine....

If I had a tale that I could tell you,
I'd tell a tale sure to make you smile.
If I had a wish that I could wish for you,
I'd make a wish for sunshine all the while.
~John Denver

What a great day to be on the water! I was up and out of the house and on my way much earlier than usual, eager to get back to the river.

As I was drifting downstream after leaving the boat ramp, I saw many snowy egrets lining the channel. I thought I have so many photos of egrets, and have posted so many, I think today I will not take any photos of white birds. I'm only taking non-white birds today (and wondered if I would end up with any images...). Just after passing Duck Island, which is nearly opposite the launch area, I saw a bird splashing ahead of me. I could see that it had brown wings, so I assumed it was an enthusiastically fishing limpkin. A non-white bird!

Well, I wanted to post somewhat different photos this time. I hit the jackpot on this trip; here's a bird that has never been posted in a Wacissa trip post since this blog was started in 2005:

Yes... a brown pelican. On the spring-fed Wacissa River. It was staying on the water (rather than looking for fish from the air); it would see a fish (why search from overhead when the water is crystal clear?) and with great flapping and splashing, it would plunge its head in after it. Needless to say, I sat there for quite some time photographing it.




I finally continued on downstream. I decided to go into Cassidy Spring to check out the possibility of getting out for a swim (didn't; too buggy in there). As I turned the bend to enter the spring area, I looked up and saw this night heron about four feet directly above me, just watching me go by while it sat there drying its wings. I slowly paddled away and turned around to get a picture of it.

It was a nearly windless day and I drifted slowly downstream. A very large group of paddlers went into Blue Spring so I passed it by. About a mile downstream of the spring I saw this female wood duck leading her chicks around. She saw me coming and headed for the greenery along the edge of the river. I was able to get a photo just before they vanished into it.

A little while later I saw this pair.

I turned around after a couple of miles and slowly paddled back upstream, stopping at one point to have the lunch I had brought (I had skipped breakfast altogether in order to get to the river sooner).

On my way upstream, a tricolored heron flew past and settled on some surface vegetation ahead of me and across the river. I paddled over to get a few photos. It ignored me as I approached and continued fishing. In fact, it ignored me until I brought the camera up and pointed it--must be camera-shy. Off it went.

It didn't go far, though. It settled on the next patch of seaweed. These birds have such interesting coloring, and I love the long wispy reddish feathers on their backs.

The pelican was still there when I got back to Duck Island. I don't know exactly how far it is to the nearest saltwater from the Wacissa as the pelican flies (so to speak), but it seems like it is a fair distance. I wonder how long it will stay on the river.

Regular readers of this blog most likely didn't believe me for a second when I said I was not going to photograph my beloved egrets. I mean, really.


The rain predictions are down for this whole week, so I hope to get back out again soon. Stand by.


Carol said...

Beautiful shot of the Egrets.


Beverly said...

I love, love, love pelicans. How cool to see them there.

Mama and her babies are always neat to look at, and of course, the egret. I'm so glad you included him.

Kimberlee said...

I'm so happy to hear that you were finally able to get out with some nice weather. All the photos are great, of course, but my favorite has to be the wood duck family. I'm so glad you were able to capture that image before they got away! I'm pretty much a sucker for any sort of babies. :)

Suzanne said...

Your pictures and story of your trip are as always. You put me right there with you and I love it! I'm looking forward to your next adventure.

Toni said...

Yeh we have had our share of rain here in central FL too. So nice to see the sunshine once in a while. LOVE these awesome photos of the birds! Left a comment on your misc. photo blog too. Have a great day Peggy...rain or shine!

Crayons said...

Hah! I knew it. You couldn't resist an egret. Well, they are my favorite too.

Your work capturing the pelican is fantastic.

So, all of these photos are breathtaking. When I visit your blog, it's as if I take 10 steps closer to a creator...in which I do not believe.

I've just gotten over a rather extended illness. I hope to visit again soon.

Sandra said...

Pelicans are my favorite bird. I love the photos of them dancing on the water. I have a folder of pelicans on my Zenfolio site. here is the link. Comparing yours to mine, I must PRACTICE. Yours are so sharp and clear, I feel like I am THERE with you. Keep snapping.