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Friday, June 10, 2011

Alexander Creek

Red Shouldered Hawk
My Mom is spending a few days with us after more than a year without visiting. So I am trying to impress her and during the weekends we are visiting the top ranked places in my list. She likes to fish so tomorrow we are going to Haulover Canal but today took her to, in my humble opinion, one of the most beautiful springs in Central Florida: Alexander Springs. It is perfect since kayaking Alexander Creek is a short and really easy task and will have time to spend time with Mom after the trip without being wasted because the effort. Everything worked just as planned, for a change.

Alexander Creek

Put In /  Take Out: There are options for the Put In when you kayak Alexander Creek. The first time we did kayak there we put in at the bridge over CR 445, went to the springs and then back to the bridge. There is no fee for park at the bridge. But wifey was worried about leaving the mini-van in such a lonely place, and it really is, that next time we decided to put in at Alexander Springs. The fee is $5.50 per person. It would be a good idea to take your kayak/canoe cart with you if you have one. While it is not as bad as the Wekiwa Springs put in it is not as easy as the one at Katie's Landing for the Lower Wekiva River. We forgot our cart today but since my middle boy came with us had help carrying the yak to the water. Here are some links for you in case you want to take a look at Alexander Springs information and also at the Alexander Creek map.

Algae covers the eel grass at Alexander Springs
The creek is crystal clear. I am guessing the lack of rain has something to do with it. It also looks wider that the last time we visited it. One thing I noticed is the algae covering the bottom and most of the eel grass. It does not look pretty. I read somewhere that the algae is a sign of nitrogen saturation and will have a negative effect on the spring ecosystem. The area near the spring is completely covered and as you go down the creek you can see the algae starting to cover the eel grass so it is spreading. The pic to your right was taken at the spring across the main vent. Do you see the green mat on the bottom? That same green thing is covering all the underwater vegetation.

The trip down creek was nice and easy. We had a little of wind coming against us, from the East, but it was not a problem. Heard a red shouldered hawk screaming but it was deep into the forest so no dice. Wifey was wishing to see an otter, which we saw on a past trip, and was bummed since there was no otter today. What was abundant, almost to the extreme, were the limpkins. There were visible at every bend and stretch of the creek. Their distinctive call was heard everywhere. We even saw a flock of four; three little ones and a bigger one. I assumed Mom and chicks. Lots of jumping big mullets also. Each and every time one of them went airborne it scared wifey. But it was an easy and pleasant trip in Alexander Creek, just what we needed.

The traffic on the creek was minimal. You cannot bring a motor boat past the CR 445 bridge. Three or four canoes you can rent at the park and one kayak. That was all. For most of the trip we had the creek just for us except for a short period of time when we heard someone in a canoe talking...and talking...and talking even when we had no visual on his party. As a matter of fact he was still talking when they took their canoe and kayak out. His partners, by the looks they were giving each other, were annoyed. But they did something for us when spooked a red shouldered hawk perched on a tree. My wife was able to shoot some nice pics of a bird she likes a lot. This brings this post to the Did You Know That?

Red Shouldered Hawk

Did You Know That?: Red Shouldered Hawk's eyes change color as they age. They have yellow eyes when they are young, and brown eyes as adults.This eye color change it is not as accurate to judge the bird's age as the changes in the plumage.

Red Shouldered Hawk and its pray

We finished our kayaking at the springs where spent time with Mom and my son. He enjoyed snorkeling there and was thrilled watching the scuba divers. We have to try that one day!!!!!

Scuba Divers at Alexander Springs
Here are pics of what we saw today...


Immature Little Blue Heron

Immature Little Blue Heron

Little Blue Heron

Little Blue Heron


Applesnails'  eggs




Scuba Diver at Alexander Springs

Fire fighting helicopter flying over Alexander Creek

CR 445 Bridge over Alexander Creek

Here is a link for all the pics from today and past trips: Alexander Creek

Thanks for reading and hope you come back for the next Views From Our Kayak!!!!

One little, two little, three little, four little limpkins

View from the bottom of the spring

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