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Saturday, July 2, 2011

Lower Wekiva River(From Katie's Landing to Blackwater Creek)

Typical Lower Wekiva River Scene

Great Blue Heron sunning itself. I have seen GBH in that
position only twice in a little more than a year kayaking.
A wise man once said; If you do not like the crowds never go to a State Park on a long weekend. Today we followed that advice and had one of the best paddles we have had this year. It was between Pellicier Creek(Faver-Dykes State Park) or Silver River. Pellicier Creek was postponed to another weekend when there will be no NASCAR race in Daytona. Silver River was my wife's preferred choice but is almost a two hour drive and I was not in the mood to have so much windshield time. Besides that it was almost 8AM and did not want to start paddling Silver River after 10AM. The wifey suggested Lower Wekiva River from Katie's Landing and it took me 3 milliseconds to say yes. I am so easy. We arrived close to 8:50 to Katie's where there were not too many cars in the parking spots; maybe three or four. No one was waiting to launch and there was a kayak in the water going south.

Flora in the Wekiva River.

Put In / Take Out: The put in and take out when we kayak this part of the Wekiva River is Katie's Landing in Sanford. For information about this place please click on the following link: Katie's Landing. It will take you to our first post about Lower Wekiva River. You will find information about Katie's there.

Wood Stork
The weather at that time was perfect since it was not too hot and somehow breeze. It did not stay like that all the time.But we had a great day in the water, specially if you like to see gators. From the get go it was super. I have mentioned before that you can easily lost track of the time just in front of Katie's. Today we "only" spent 30 minutes there. Coots, a juvenile yellow crowned night heron an immature little blue and a great blue heron gave us pics chances. Ospreys and hawks flew around but we were not able to shoot good pics of them. When we finally decided to keep going down river a couple in a canoe were getting ready to launch. Just after a small island a few minutes down river from Katie's I spotted something to my right in the forest. It was a deer and I let wifey know. She did not have a clean pic at the deer and it went a little deep into the woods but did not leave the area. We searched for it for a few minutes and then spotted again near the river and approached quietly. When wifey had a nice pic ready we heard voices coming and so did the deer. It went back into the woods again and wifey got frustrated with the coming couple in a canoe since the guy kept talking and scared the deer for good.

Juvenile Yellow Crowned Night Heron

Baby gators
I mentioned at the beginning that it was a great day for gator viewing and it was. The gators were present during all our paddle, specially after Wekiva Haven. In the water, in the vegetation or enjoying the sun on a log, gators were out. We even saw one of the coolest things we have seen. In a log we saw 4 little gators all together one in top of the other. At least two more little ones were in the mat like waiting to get into the line. As I looked for the Mama Gator another of the little gators in the mat suddenly lifted in the air and fell into the water. It was in top of Mama who went under to hide. The little ones started chirping and we decided to stay way out of the area. We have not seen so many baby gators all together since our first kayaking trip in Wekiva Springs a little more than a year ago.

Lower Wekiva River gator

Swallow-Tailed Kite
Due to the recent rains the river level is good, not as clear as it usually is, but it is still clear. The traffic on the river was light, actually, extra light. We saw three more kayaks, a canoe, and to my surprise only two motor boars. All that in 5 hours in the river. Compared with other trips in this same place that is nothing. We were watching a Swallow-Tailed Kite when one of the boats came by. As we moved out of the boat's way we lost the bird. But suddenly it appeared over the trees in front of us and came flying toward the kayak like a fighter plane will do over its target. I told wifey who lifted the camera and tried to find it but it was coming too fast. When she saw it, it was on top of us. Somehow she was able to shoot a pic and I think it is a very nice one, if you think about how it did happen.

Green Heron

Did You Know That?
Our star today is the river. Yes, the Wekiva River. The river is fed by two fresh water springs, Rock Springs and Wekiwa Springs. It ends in the St. John River. According to Wikipedia it runs for 15.7 miles.

Lower Wekiva River

We reached the mouth of Blackwater Creek and did go down river like 10 more minutes. Turned around 12:30 and were back at Katie's Landing at 2:30. It was really hot at the time we arrived at Katie's. Here are more pics of what we saw today:

Great Blue Heron


Wekiva River Flora

Baby gators

Immature Little Blue Heron displays its colors


Immature Little Blue Heron

Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Crane


Immature Little Blue Heron

Yellow Crowned Night Heron


Hidden gator

Lazy gator takes a sun bath

Lower Wekiva River gator

"I do not like how this guy behind is looking at me"

Tiny turtle

Happy Gator?

And another gator!!!!

Big gator goes under

Gator swims besides our kayak


Little Blue Heron


Swallow-Tailed Kite

For all the pics from this and past trips click the following link: Lower Wekiva River Album

That is all for this one. Thanks for reading and let us see from where is going to come the next Views From Our Kayak. See you next week...

And Happy 4th of July!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lower Wekiva River flora


  1. Wow. Great pics, nice time on one of our favorites.
    Was that your first deer photo? Forgive me if I missed earlier one(s), but I knew you'd get one eventually

  2. It is my second deer pic. I got one during a solo trip on Rock Springs Run. For Mary is the first but she is still upset because the guy in the canoe spooked the deer away.