Sunday, April 09, 2006
Rivers and Gators and Birds, Oh My
One of the very special features of Florida is the fresh water springs. After leaving Patricia's, we decided to to a little sightseeing and visit Wakulla Springs. This is a huge spring which then feeds the Wakulla river. It just became a state park in the 80's sometime, which explains why I never went there when I lived in Tallahassee in the 70s. One thing that people do in the Florida springs is go scuba diving. Jim and I have done that in Ginnie Springs. We have our cavern diving certification but would never be allowed to dive in Wakulla. The entrance to the cave is at 160 feet! If you spend an hour diving, you need 5 hours of decompression before you can come up! Go visit this really cool interactive website that leads you thru the cave. btw - the difference between a cavern and a cave is that, with a cavern, there is always a source of natural light - you never get into complete darkness. In my book, caverns are cool - caves are scary. We took the river tour at Wakulla and our guide was about the most enthusiastic environmentalist I've ever met. She never did get thru her standard spiel because she kept saying, "Oh look! There's a ..." Wood Duck, the number 1 most beautiful duck anywhere. White Egret on it's nest And, it's breeding season so they have the full plumage. Green Heron An alligator Yellow crowned night heron (very rare to see this during the day) Spider Lilly Great Blue Heron on her nest feeding chicks Blue Heron (not 'Great' Blue, just Blue) Anhinga This alligator photo didn't come out right ... but I kinda like it ... gator art. Just looking into the gin-clear water made the $6 trip worthwhile. Jim had the camera for this ride, but there were a few moments where he was busy helping the guide change over the gas tanks on the boat motor. The rest of us enjoyed a few moments of peace and quiet in this primeval place. I picked up the camera and focused on a wood duck ... it was only after we got home and looked at the pictures that I realized I wasn't the only one focused on that poor wood duck! Can you see the alligator in the upper right? This is supposed to be the spot where Johnny Weismuller made his famous jungle call as Tarzan. But this one that Jim took takes the prize!