Saturday, May 14, 2016

Spring Floods!

One of the main things we wanted to do on this trip was kayak the Suwannee River to see the many springs that lie along its banks and in the areas around that river. We have tried this a number of times and every time we have been stymied by the spring floods. The Suwannee drains the Okefenokee Swamp and every spring that area gets a tremendous amount of rain which swells the river. When this happens the river overtops its banks and inundates the springs and fills them with the dark, tea-colored water of the swamp and river system. This is called "a blackout" of the springs.

And so, alas, the time we wanted to spend exploring and snorkeling in the big freshwater springs and the clear blue waters they generate was not to be. We got there just after the flooding of the Suwannee River basin and so encountered nothing but dark water and no sparkling springs.

Still, we went ahead with the main kayaking trip we had opted to take. We picked a canoe service just outside the entrance to the Suwannee River State Park where we were staying. They had a great deal of charging only $10 per kayak to shuttle you to a point seven miles upstream from the park. After that all we had to do was paddle down the river and back to the park where we would use the boat launch to disembark just yards from our campsite!

And, while we did not get to see the springs we wanted to explore, we still had a great time kayaking the river. We saw one small alligator along the way, a few turtles, and heard a tremendous number and variety of birdsong.

Carole heads off!

High water.

Live oaks and Spanish moss.

Limestone rock, the reason for the wealth of springs in Florida.

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