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Friday, May 25, 2012

Lower Wekiva River - Oh Deer!!!!!

Deer in the forest

Had a long but relaxing paddle at the Lower Wekiva River today. Long because I am probably the slowest paddler around, relaxing because enjoyed the river and the surroundings without any kind of pressure. My solo paddle started at 9AM, when I finally put in at Katie's Landings.Did not have any specific plan. Just paddle down river and, wherever I was at noon, turn around back to the put in. A humid hot day in the Wekiva River but... You know what? Did worth each and every second. First, had the chance to finally meet Joanne and Pam, members of the river patrol, volunteers who care about the river,and from now on the Wekiva River Angels. And then, well, I am not telling you that. Check out the pics.

Joanne and Pam

Put In / Take Out: Katie's Landing. Please check one of our previous posts for more information about this location.

Snowy Egret

At 9AM started exploring the area just across Katie's Landings. Usually, when I come with my wife, we can spend 45 minutes to an hour there. Today only spent about 15 minutes, not because there was nothing to shoot pics at, but because the water level is so low that made it very difficult to paddle the area. So after a quick view decided to keep going down river. As the most recent time I paddled here, paddled to the west of the island down stream Katie's Landings. It is wilder since there are no houses around, and usually, there are always several forms of wildlife to take pics of. Today was not different and came out of the area with pics of five different herons: Green, Great Blue, Black Crowned, Yellow Crowned, and Little Blue Herons. Not a bad start. Missed pics of a Pileated Woodpecker and a Red Shouldered Hawk also.

Great Blue Heron

The trip down river was slow. Just let the current take me and several times went back and forth if saw or heard something in the forest. No hurries. Only saw one boat, a Volusia County Sheriff was patrolling the river. We interchanged greetings and he asked me how far was Katie's Landings. At the time did estimate he was like one mile away from it and that is what I told him. Other than that was a lonely paddle down river. That was going to change later. Heard voices coming with the wind and also a heard a noise behind me in the forest to the East. First thought that the noise in the forest was the wind but turned around anyways and then saw a deer. Tried to shoot a pic but was not in position for a clear shot and the deer went deeper into the forest. The voices I heard were the Wekiva Angels, Joanne and Pam, who caught up with me. I told them about the deer and I think they saw it too. We chatted for a few minutes, which was a very welcome break for me, and saw a Swallow-Tailed Kite while we were talking. No chance for a pic. Did take some pics  from each other. 

Yellow Crowned Night Heron

Talking about the deer, I have seen them in the Lower Wekiva River before but usually in the same area near the Wekiva Haven. Today saw deer in three different locations. The first one was the area that I mentioned in the previous paragraph. Then like 5 minutes after leaving Joanne and Pam, saw another one in the West bank of the river. That one was busy eating, saw me, but did not mind my presence. It acknowledged I was there, it is fun to watch how the ears go North as soon as they are alarmed, but did not go away. That gave me the chance to shoot several pics. Only a few ones came up OK but I was happy with what I got. The deer stayed with me until the Sheriff's boat came down river. The deputy told me about two more deer a couple of hundreds feet upriver. I thought about paddling there but did not do it and kept going downriver. At 12:30 finally turned around and took a break 30 minutes later at a high ground area that is a very popular illegal camping spot. But now the river is being patrolled so I thing people will think twice before camping there. Two motor boats went by while I was taking the break. One going up and the other going down.

Deer in the forest

Lower Wekiva River Turtle
The trip upriver was not productive in terms of pics. To make things worst caught a boat going up, the same one that went by while I was taking the brake. They were bow fishing and going very slow. I stopped and let them go ahead since it was obvious that with them in the area no wildlife was going to stay close because all the noise they were making. One of the young men with a bow caught a monster catfish though. It was huge. Congrats to him, whoever he is. Just before the Wekiva Haven area they turned around and a few meters South I had a nice experience with Limpkin chicks. I have seen Limpkin chicks in the past but never had the chance to take pics of chicks so little. It was cool to see them interacting and also to hear the noises they make. They did not mind me being there and even posed for several pics. Spent many minutes with them until Mama Limpkin decided to leave with her little ones.

Limpkin Baby Chick

I think it is enough of talking. Here are more pics of what I saw at the Lower Wekiva River. Do you still wonder why is my favorite place? Oh...Closed the day with another deer just across Katie's Landings. What a day. Three deer sightings. In my past two trips in waters associated with the Wekiva River, Rock Springs Run was the other, has spotted deer in 6 different places. Not bad at all. Anyways, here you go...

Two for One...Ibis and Snowy Egret


Sandhill Crane

Raccoon in a tree

Raccoon in the river bank

Prothonotary Warbler
Prothonotary Warbler

Black Crowned Night Heron

Black Crowned Night Heron

Little Blue Heron

Tri-Colored Heron

Green Heron

Lower Wekiva River deer

Small Lower Wekiva River Gator

Red Bellied Woodpecker

Limpkin chicks

Limpkin and a chick

Juvenile Black Crowned Night Heron

Juvenile Little Blue Heron

Glossy Ibis

Glossy Ibis

Deer across Katie's Landings

Lower Wekiva River Deer

Deer goes hiding

And that is it for this one. Thanks for your patience with this one. Hope you like it and that you come back soon, will rest my back today and try to go out tomorrow, so we can share more Views From Our Kayak. Thank you very much for reading.

Lower Wekiva River Scene


  1. Deer and angels. I call that a good day and look forward to the rest of the View.

  2. So nice to meet you finally! I bet that was the same deer that disappeared when we were talking to you.
    We heard owls hooting, but never saw one.

  3. Master Dave, it was not a good day. It was a heck of a good day. I consider myself lucky to have this place so close from home.

    Joanne, it was very nice to meet you and Pam. The deer on the pic was in the West bank of the river and it was dry so do not think it was the same one we saw. The last deer pic was just across Katie's Landings, which was a super way to finish a great day in the river.

  4. You are correct. It was great. And so are the pictures. For a guy who has written he dosen't see deer that often, (insert winking smiley)I'd call it awesome.

  5. Great pictures! Especially the limpkin chicks. We saw some a couple of weeks ago and I got a video, but we didn't see them yesterday.
    I hope your back lets you get out, although I heard 80% chance of rain---but then, maybe the Econ would rise to the occasion of your wanting to paddle there soon.

  6. Dave, I do not see deer too often. Think about this as an exception, but has seen deer on my two most recent trips to waters related to the Wekiva. I will take that any day. (insert winking smiley here too) Joanne, I did go out. My back is not good yet but just came back from Blue Spring State Park. Did kayak Snake Creek. Pics and post to come later today. Was able to beat the crowds and the rain. Regarding the Econ, does not look like it is going to happen anytime soon. Not enough rain, yet.