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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Blue Spring - Snake Creek

I thought...I thought...I taw a puddy tat!!!!! I did...I did...I taw a puddy tat

This trip was A-W-E-S-O-M-E!!!!! When you are out one instant can change how do you feel about the trip. Had one of those instants today during my trip to Blue Spring, from where kayaked the waters of the St. Johns River and Snake Creek. I promise you that will not bore you to sleep. Keep reading since it will be quick and painless.

Great Blue Heron

Put In / Take Out: Blue Spring State Park in Orange City, FL. Check the link for information. Was close to launch from the end of French Avenue, since it is free, but I try to use the state's facilities whenever is possible. Is a way to support the work they are doing.

French Avenue Site

Let us go to what happened today. Started paddling around 9 AM under a gray sky. At the moment believed that it was going to be a short one. Decided to start going to the short Blue Spring Run, from there to the island West of the French Avenue launch, and from there to Snake Creek (weather depending).

Cormorant

Cardinal celebrates NCAA Basketball Championship at Blue Spring Run

Cardnial

Gator

A guided tour came down the run as I tried to take UW pics. After that made it all the way to the impressive vent where SCUBA divers were doing their thing.

Florida Gar and Mullets
Diver at the run. Smile Dude...You are on the web now...Ehr...My bad...Never mind

Diver deep inside the vent

Left the run quickly. Did not want to bother the divers. By the way, that is in my short term plans. To get certified again as a SCUBA diver and do what they are doing one day. But that will be another day. Made it back to the St. Johns on my way to the island West of French Avenue.

Great Blue Heron

Juvenile Ibis


Great Blue Heron nest. There are several in the waters west of the island

Moorhen
Green Heron


Classic Green Heron pose

Cattle Egret

Great Blue Heron

Great Egret

Left the waters of the island area and made it back to the St. Johns on my way to the mouth of Snake Creek. Just at the confluence in front of French Avenue had one of these moments when wished the Sun was out and the sky was blue. A Swallow Tailed Kite made an appearance but there was not too much I was able to do with a gray sky as a background.

Swallow-Tailed Kite

Swallow-Tailed Kite

Swallow-Tailed Kite

From there kept paddling South on the St. Johns on route to Snake Creek...

Little Blue Heron

Belted Kingfisher

Made it to the mouth of Snake Creek, which is in an alternate channel. If you are coming from the park paddle to the South, then turn right on the alternate channel and like 5 or 6 minutes after will find it to your right. To my surprise saw this at the entrance of Snake Creek.

How about that?

Have to say that it was a frustrating paddle down the creek. No pics chances at all. Two Little Blue Herons and a Great Blue teased me for several minutes only to fly away when I was within range for a pic. They did that even when I decided to let it go and was not even bothering on lifting the camera.

Snake Creek

My plan was to paddle to the Hontoon Dead River, to go South once there and then use the canal with the bird houses to go back to the St. Johns (see previous posts as reference). But more than once wanted to turn around and was about to do that like 10 minutes before reaching the Hontoon Dead River. Heard a Pileated Woodpecker and it sounded so close from where I was that started looking for it. But the creek is very shallow and was not able to reach the banks without hitting the  bottom. Did not find the woodpecker, even when was able to hear it, and gave up. Then it happened.

Snake Creek ghost...ehr...Bobcat

My momentum took me from the area when saw a "ghost" walking in the forest so turned around and then saw it. It stopped and started walking again. I was afraid it was going to run away so shoot a couple of pics in desperation to get something. To my surprise the Bobcat jumped on a log and just sat there, looking at me. Shoot dozens of pics without realizing that it was too deep inside the forest and covered by shadows. When I realized that changed the settings in the camera and shoot like a dozen more (thanks Scott Simmons). The Bobcat just was there, looking at me without moving. Maybe it was as curious about me as I was about it.

Do I know you? 


Bobcat
After several minutes of waiting for the Bobcat to move and give me another pose I decided to leave the area. Was tired, hungry and thirsty. My water bottle somehow got opened and had nothing to drink. The sandwich was ruined by the water so it was the time to leave. Anyways made it to the Hontoon Dead River but then turned around thinking that maybe the Bobcat was going to be in the area, which did not happen. But I was really happy with the experience. Here is what I saw on my way back to the State Park...

Great Egret at the Snake Creek

Little Blue Heron Flying away at Snake Creek

Snake Creek Green Heron


And the Green Heron sticks the landing. The scores are 5-4-4-5-4, and 5 from the Puerto Rican judge

Snake Creek Turtle

Gray Catbird at Snake Creek

Limpkin at the St. Johns

Limpkin

Cormorant got lunch at the St. Johns River

And down goes the fish!!!!!

Osprey

And that is it for this one. For more pics from this trip visit or follow us on Views From Our Kayak on Facebook. There are also pics from other trips. Thanks for reading and hope you come back so we can share more Views From Our Kayak.


A nice couple from Pennsylvania kayaking on Snake Creek

16 comments:

  1. The BEST bobcat picture ever!!!!

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  2. GREAT photos as usual Luis! Blue Spring is so close to home I really need to get out there more often.

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  3. I think the bobcat needs to replace the alligator as the background photo.

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  4. Just wow! I am so jealous! I shared the picture on Twitter w/ full attribution and a link to your blog.. Such a beautiful puddy-tat!

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  5. Thanks everybody. I am still excited about this one.

    Joanne, you started something on Facebook. I mean, is not viral but it has had so many hits and comments.

    Usually I change the background pic at the end of the month so we all know now which one will be the new one on May. Do not we?

    Will post all the pics on Facebook tomorrow, Monday 15th. Now is time for me to go horizontal.

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  6. Hi Luis,
    We met at the site you took the photo of the bobcat.Told us about your blog.Had no idea you are such a great wildlife photographer.Having a good time going through your site.
    Thanks
    Pat from PA.

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    1. Then your picture is in here. The last picture of the post. Welcome and hope to see you folks again in the future.

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  7. Found you on Facebook, but will follow you here! Awesome photos. Just awesome. The bobcat is amazing. Thanks so much for letting us travel with you! :)

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  8. Luis- I shared your bobcat pic on my Old Florida facebook page so you may get a bump.

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  9. Terri, Welcome and thanks!!!!

    Rick, yes. I saw something different. Just a little bit...well...way different. I will not call a bump but a super bump. Got more hits in two hours than I got in three days. Thanks!!!!!

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  10. That is the dream shot we all hope to get!!! Amazing photos!

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  11. Absolutely gorgeous photos and commentary. All looks like great fun! Thanks for sharing.

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  12. Absolutely amazing photos! I love the bobcat pictures, but they really are all spectacular!!

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  13. What wonderful photos! You've captured many of my favorites: egrets, herons, osprey ... and the bobcat! Wow. I just heard that a couple of them have been spotted along a greenway trail near where I live, which is within city limits. Crazy! Our area has had a few black bear sightings the past week too.

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  14. WOW! Luis, those pics are fantastic!! Love the story too! So jealous that you saw the Bobcat and got so many great pics! LOL :)

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