Sunday, October 29, 2006

Progeny, Sculpture and The River: A Sunday

I visited my progeny this past weekend in Pensacola. He had a birthday and we celebrated together. I did the mom things for him and we yelled at each other some and hung out. We saw this sculpture while out riding around in the van. I stopped at the Choctawhatchee for a look on the way home.
I had an interesting talk and walk with a conservation officer who knows all about the search team but of course, he couldn't tell me where they have been searching. But I am pretty certain I know the area. I'm going to camp there soon and do some hiking and kayaking.

Nathan let me camp on his floor, buy him some birthday presents, cook dinner for him, and clean his apartment. It was actually a lot of fun since I haven't done the mom thing for a while now. We got a great deal accomplished for his move back to Tallahassee and Flagler College.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

More Dead Lakes Photos

Kayaking Dead Lakes

I awoke late this morning after a late night singing session Friday night at a neat house with a sky deck on the very top of it. I also had a medical procedure which came out okay I think and I was a bit worn out in the morning. The phone rang all morning which was nice but I didn't leave until one pm and I got in the game traffic. Yikes! that was a mistake. Anyway, I wanted to see some areas around the Chipola River. It is definitely woodpecker territory!

I reasoned that if ivory billed woodpeckers are by the Choctawhatchee, they might also be near the Chipola, which is only a score of miles further east. There are lots of tupelo, cypress, sweet gum and pines around this area, which was flooded by the Chipola Dam. So off I went to Dead Lakes which is about eighty miles from me, in Gulf county.

There were woodpecker holes everywhere I looked and I saw various birds, including white ibis, a red shouldered hawk, great blue herons, and otters. The otters were fun and we played hide and seek all along the bank near sundown. I heard many woodpecker sounds but I only heard a faint double knock once. The cypress and tupelo trees are everywhere and the shapes are intriguing. I think they filmed "Ulee's Gold" in Wewahitchka, which is down the road from the state park.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Today's Laugh

An elderly man in North Carolina had owned a large farm for several years. He had a large pond in the back, fixed up nice; picnic tables, horseshoe courts, and some apple and peach trees. The pond was properly shaped and fixed up for swimming when it was built.

One evening the old farmer decided to go down to the pond, as he hadn't been there for a while, and look it over. He grabbed a five-gallon bucket to bring back some fruit. As he neared the pond, he heard voices shouting and laughing with glee. As he came closer , he saw it was a bunch of young women skinny-dipping in his pond. He made the women aware of his presence and they all went to the deep end.

One of the women shouted to him, "We're not coming out until you leave!" The old man frowned and replied, "I didn't come down here to watch you ladies swim naked or make you get out of the pond naked." Holding the bucket up he said, "I'm here to feed the alligator." (joke brought to you by Bruce Murdoch)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Tilley Landing

Tilley Landing is a launch on the west side of the Choctawhatchee. It is s gravel road about two miles long that ends at a landing. The landing has a shelter and a portapotty. I think the canal goes out into an owbow lake but I was alone and it is remote so I did not go alone. Here are some photographs. The Auburn University search team says this area is a good one for searching. I did hear a double knock while sitting quietly at the landing and listening. I did not see any kind of woodpeckers. I heard woodpecker sounds all day actually, and another double knock on the River above Morrisons spring. I did not hear any calls.

I wonder who lives here?

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Springhopping: Morrison Springs

I spent the day searching for IBWO's. I traveled West on I10 to Caryville and Westville and followed 181 south. I planned to travel the West side of the Choctawhatchee and at Ebro, come north and look at the east side. My first stop was a landing at Cow Lake Road, north of Morrison Springs and slightly north of Hinson's crossing, which I stopped at on the way north later in the day. Morrison's was so beautiful that I traveled the length of the spring out to the Choctawhatchee and went north a ways. I surprised a couple of gators on the Choctawhatchee
and avoided a water moccasin in the spring water of Morrison's on the way back.
I also stopped at Tilley's Landing.

Ivory Bill Woodpecker

I'm off for a look see along the Choctawhatchee. Wish me luck. No go see?

Happy Birthday Bethany!

Yesterday was Bethany's birthday celebration. The company was enjoyable, some of my favorite people.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Kayaking Orange Lake near Cross Creek

This is some of what Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings might have seen as she motored or canoed out of her inlet into Orange Lake to hunt ducks or to fish. I have a friend who lives at the bottom of Orange Lake. He has a leaky canoe. But he muffled the airboats!

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings State Park

Marjorie Rawling's life is very inspiring to me. She was an independent woman, who carved out a life for herself in the scrub of southern Alachua county. She grew vegetables, kept chickens, tended her orange groves, and hunted and fished in addition to her writing. Her home is not so remote anymore. In fact, it is on county road 325, which connects with 26, which goes into Gainesville and there is a fair amount of traffic on it now. There are also homes and trailers all around her homestead. It retains old Florida charm however,and Orange Lake is still wild with abundant wildlife. I kayaked Orange Lake, putting in from what was once her dock and is now a public boat launch. I imagined what she must have seen and felt in that wild, swampy lake.

Cross Creek is a just north of her home and it connects Orange Lake with Lochloosa

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

My mom! Her place! The pelican roost!

Mom and I went swimming this past Sunday and then we walked to the maleluca tree that the pelicans are using to roost in at night so I could take pictures. I really like this picture of mom. She looks happy!