Ocean Pond Site #16
Osceola National Forest
Lake City, Florida
Up this morning for a lazy breakfast and slow morning. But it was such a beautiful day that we decided we wanted to explore more thoroughly some really lovely spots on the pond we had paddled through yesterday evening. So we just walked down to the edge of the water, got in the kayaks and set off for a trip all around the 6.5 mile perimeter of the pond. Ocean Pond is a 1760 acre natural lake, almost perfectly round bowl shaped with a 2 mile diameter. Apparently it isn't known how it came to be. Some scientists at The University of Florida suggest that because of its shape a meteor may have created it. Others think it's one of Florida's famous sink holes created by the collapse of the limestone substrate underground.
Whatever it is, it's beautiful!
It was a blue sky puffy white cloud day as we headed out.
Paddling west, we soon found ourselves amidst the magnificient cyprus trees. The more time you spend among and around them the more wonderful they become. Look at the base of this one. Talk about a firm foundation..... As always, if you click on the picture it will be more vivid.
The spanish moss is just perfect with these trees. Notice the water marks that let you know how low the water is. Such a drought here.
The lake has numerous coves that we paddled into as we went along.
Many of which had not only great trees but lovely fall flowers, yellow seemed the color of choice.
I got captivated by the lovely fields of water lilies and these yellow pond lilies also called spatterdock
I spent quite a while just enjoying and taking pictures of these yellow lovelies.
Not exactly sure who eats them but someone has clearly had a bite.
We came upon several of these "see through" trees. Amazingly still alive and thriving despite seemingly having no trunk.
As we paddled along we saw what appeared to be newly planted little trees with supports. I don't know for sure who was planting them although I assume the forest service is doing it. I'm not sure why they would be since there are many cyprus here already. And I'm really curious how in the world they do it. There were 8 or 10 planted in certain areas of the lake.
At one point David was working on his Halloween costume since the day is today and wanted to know what you thought? It's been a long time since he's had hair and he though perhaps he'd dress up as Father Time.
Each side of the lake really was quite different from the others. The town of Olustee has a park with a small beach on one side of the lake. Calling Olustee a town is being extremely generous since it has no stop light and a one room post office, Other than that sign of civilization, most of the shore was native. Some sides had more grasses and fewer lily fields. But all had cyprus.
We did pass by two sections of the shore, one on the North side and one on the East, had a few private docks and houses back in the woods. Not sure how those folks were able to have private property in a national forest but they did. This one on the North side was our hands down favorite. I think you'll have to enlarge the picture to see their dock's name printed on it at water line.
Notice that Zoey's lounge seems to be all about conversation.
And Dobson's is all about bar stools. We got a good laugh out of the typical men/women difference. I'd like to meet these folks. But in our entire trip around the lake on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon, only one person was out on their dock. One family's children were swimming at the "beach".
We had come almost full circle when we met up with this temptation.
and took it! Each of us going in and out and having fun being IN a cyprus tree.
It was a long day and a great paddle but we were too tired to linger long enough to catch some pictures of the sunset. We made it all the way around Ocean Pond and had a great time doing it.
Happy Samhain to those who honor it and Happy Halloween to all you Trick or Treaters. We had none at our door tonight so we just ate candy ourselves. :-))
We'll be moving on to Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge tomorrow and will be sorry to leave this lovely site but who knows, perhaps we will be back again. Hope so.