Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Black & White Wednesday

When I first started out in photography I shot mostly black and white film. My Dad converted a shed in the back yard into a darkroom for me. I was able to develop my own photos. Now with the advent of digital I can with the press of a button switch from B&W to color. After being inspired by Peggy's B&W(scroll down on her pictures in February) photos I had to take some of my own. The pictures below were taken on Pellicer Creek.  I went back into the marsh a ways since it was high tide. I was in about a foot of water here. This is looking back out into the creek.
This pictures was taken up another little offshoot. The water was a little deeper but the creek wasn't very wide. I paddled a little further up and then had to back the boat back a couple hundred yards till I was able to turn it around. 
I spotted this house up in the trees. It looks like they have a very nice view of the creek. It is very wide at this point. My only concern would be in a hurricane this house wouldn't have much protection from rising water, and boing under that big oak tree.
 This is one of those falling down docks you see everywhere. The metal roof has seen its share of wind. Sometimes I wonder how these docks are still standing.

I like the texture of the reeds along the marsh. These reeds were growing higher then I was able to see over even sitting in my canoe. I paddled along side of these for a few miles before deciding to take some pictures of this particular bunch. 
I hope you have enjoyed this bunch of pictures. I will keep posting my adventures and I think I will stick with my Black & White Wednesday pictures.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Pellicer Creek

I managed to take some pictures of me actually paddling today. The weather was beautiful in the mid 70's and sunny. There was some wind and I had to paddle upwind a little bit. Then I got on a long open straight of water with the wind at my back. I was just enjoying drifting along and 2 kts. Thinking the paddle back was going to be a long one. Then the sea-breeze came in and I had the wind at my back on the return trip, which was good because I was going up-current.
There were several ospreys out fishing today. This one flew overhead and then went on to fly out of range and catch a fish. I would have liked to been closer and been able to take pictures of the catch but no such luck. I did enjoy the show and saw 3 fish being carried away. One thing I have come to notice is they always seem to carry the fish facing forwards. My brother thinks this may be because they come up behind the fish while they are swimming and catch them that way. I know I will be on the look out for this in the future.

I came upon some Cormorants this one took off as soon as I got too close. I am always amazed how they can take flight from being in the water. A small running start on the water and off we go.
This egret came flying by and I was trying to get some pictures of flying birds today. I like how the feathers are somewhat translucent. 
This is my wheres waldo picture. There are 2 Bald Eagles in this picture. I let myself drift over to the shore to get closer. This put me in a good position for the light but a bad position for seeing both birds. The female is on the branch above the male. These birds mate for life. They also return to the same nest year after year. I am glad they are making a comeback and I consider my self lucky each time I am able to spot even one. Today I got to see a breading pair. 

 I had a nice little paddle today and just generally enjoyed my paddle. Pelicer Creek is located south of St. Augustine. I launched my boat at Faver Dykes State park. Stay tuned I have more pictures including some Black and Whites I will post those mid week. 

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Part 2 Silver River

Here are some more of the pictures from the last weekend. I figured the monkeys had their 15 minutes. Here is a close-up of a Cormorant. These birds actually swim underwater to catch fish. I love the color of their eyes. This one is looking right at me. 

This is a young Heron. I like these birds. They can range from almost black to a pale blueish gray. This one was just hanging out watching me pass by.

This Great Blue Heron was stalking some fish in the water. The current was sweeping my by pretty quickly so I never saw him catch anything. But I did get to watch him stalking fish which is better then either flying away or just standing there.

Here is an Ibis(R) and a Heron(L) They were hanging out among these lilly pads. The Ibis was busily looking for something to eat while the heron was just watching. 

It was a great day on the water. I took lots of pictures mostly of the monkeys but I managed to see many other things as well.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


Today I decided to go paddle the Silver River again. This time I wanted to paddle the whole thing (About 10 miles roundtrip 5 miles upstream, 2 kts. of current) and I was looking for the wild Rhesus Monkeys. The story goes in the 1930's the concessionaire who ran the Jungle cruise boat ride imported the monkeys and placed them on an island. Of course they swam off the island. Now their offspring live in the woods and the surrounding areas.Foot in my mouth.
Look closely this little one has his foot in his mouth.

This one was looking for something at the waters edge.

This little baby carried this piece of grass up the tree and then proceeded to eat the soft bottom part. 

This male was watching to see if I was going to give any handouts. I was sorry to disappoint. I was however happy to take lots of pictures.
That concludes the monkey post. I have some more pictures and will post them tomorrow. I had a great paddle today I was on the river for about 7 hours today and actually got quite a bit of sun. I didn't remember to bring sunscreen. Have to add that to the checklist. 

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Okefenokee Swamp

Today I went to the Okefenokee Wilderness Area. I went to the area just outside of Folkston, Georgia. I really like the few Ga. State parks I have been to. You have to sign out and then back in to let them know you are off the water. They always do a good job keeping the places nice. I usually pick up trash where ever I go. In fact I take a trash bag and my grabber thingy (Thanks Jeanette) Today I didn't come across one piece of trash. I paddled about 8 miles and nothing but good ole mother nature.

This first picture is of the canoe trail that runs parallel to the Suwannee Canal. It was pretty overgrown in some places but it was a nice little run. I paddled to Chesser Prairie.

This Heron waded up towards me while I was stopped for lunch. He came pretty close and walked all around. I was even able to move the canoe a few times so I could keep an eye on him. I took a lot of pictures. I paddled off after about 30 minutes of watching him. 

While watching the Heron the wind blew me over into the lilly pads. These things float real good. Every now and then the wind would blow a lilly pad up on it side. It would sail around a bit and then lay back down and drift back in place.  
Crocodiles, I saw an American Crocodile today. It was swimming along, I just drifted along with it for a while taking pictures. Then it turned around and swam back the other way. It was about 6 feet long. 
This is a picture of me in my boat. I borrowed my brothers water proof camera. I made an extension to take some pictures from outside the boat. I just set the self timer and stuck the camera out and waited. I tried one in the water but it was too dark. I need to borrow it again next time I go to a spring. 
It was a really nice day out in the swamp. The temps were in the low 70's (February) and there was some breeze. But there wasn't a cloud in the sky. And it has still been cool enough there were no biting insects. 

The new seat (see yesterday post) position worked out well I was able to get the boat up to 4.6 mph and keeping it at 3 mph is fairly easy. At one point today I looked down at the GPS and I was drifting side ways at .6 mph while I was standing up taking pictures. (Don't tell my Mom)

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Working on my boat

Today I was able to install my new seat. I decided I needed to move it forward to balance out the boat a little better. We measured it several times before cutting. I wanted to make sure it was right. Measure twice cut once. I can't wait to try it out tomorrow. 

I also spliced a loop into my bow line. I just couldn't bring myself to splice the line onto the boat in case I ever need to move the line or use it for something else. The splice tapers at the end and I think it is a good sized loop. Or course the first time I find a piling to loop it over I am sure  the piling will be too big. It always happens that way. 

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Juniper Creek

I have been talking to my Dad recently about going to Juniper Springs and canoeing down the run. So today I had the chance to go paddling and decided that would be a good place to go. I drove down and put in at the wayside park on Hwy. 19. I paddled for a couple hours upstream. And it only took me an hour to make it back downstream. The current was really running strong today. I talked to the canoe rental guy and he said the rain they had earlier in the week raised the water level and was making the current a little faster.

I have been here before but it was many, many years ago with my Grandfather. He would go every year and camp for 5 or 6 weeks and spend a lot of time on the water. We would go and camp and canoe with him. My Dad caught an 11 pound Bass in the lake one year. 

There were 2 turtles on this log till I raised the camera to take a picture. As I was about to take the picture one of them slid off the log. I did catch the water splashing up in the air. I thought that was cool so that is why this picture was posted. The second turtle decided to stay on the log. He did keep a close eye on my however. 

This picture is of the weeds( I hate calling it weeds because it is quite nice to look at) The weeds are very long and flow with the current. They sway back and forth and are very pleasing.  The weather was in the upper 70's and blue sky with not too many clouds. You couldn't ask for a nicer February Day. Now I just have to decide where to paddle next weekend. I am open to suggestions, leave a comment.

This is another picture of the creek and also some clouds that were building up. They had that thunderstorm look but it wasn't quite warm enough. I think if it would have made it into the 80's we would of had a chance for afternoon thunderstorms. They did bring a little breeze which was nice.  I continued my mission of picking up trash while on the water. I had my new grabber thing and took a trash bag. I managed to get several cans, a styrofoam cup and 2 shoes that didn't match. In all I got 11 pieces of trash. If people would just be a little more careful I might come back empty handed. (empty bag anyway) I can always dream:-)

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Takin' out the trash

Fishweir Creek

We went and met my friends Darren and Jeanette to go canoeing on the creek behind their house.  We spent a nice day out on the water and picked up a lot of trash along the banks. We managed to pick up about a half a trash can full of stuff. The creek looked much better on the way back. Below is a picture of me and my kids. We had a nice day out on the water and helped the creek look better. We need to go at high tide next time so we can reach more of the trash. I will post more pictures of the creek.