Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

It was a Misty Moisty Morning

Up early this morning to get out on the river and kayak up to the springs and then down to the Withlacoochee.  We used the campground's very nice kayak cart to take the kayaks from our site down to the put in.  Should have done this every single day as it turns out.  

Here I am totin' them boats as the sun is coming up......48 degrees

David came with me on the mile trip upstream to the springs and back down to the campground but he declined to go the rest of the 7 mile length of the Rainbow River before it ends when it joins the Withlacoochee.  

It was wonderful sharing the river with all these other folks who were also out.  I must apologize in advance for my camera which could not deal with the mist very well and has a pathetic zoom lens.  You'll have to take my word for some of these pictures since otherwise you may not be able to tell who it is.   But camera or no, I saw them all and it was outstanding.

Here's the campground put in as I pulled away.

 Wood duck in the mist

Anhingas were everywhere already drying their wings and the sun wasn't quite up yet

But one of the best parts of the day needs just a bit of explanation.  I had said when I went out so early in answer to David's query about why, that I was going to see river otter.  Now I love otters, they have so much fun.  But in all my river kayaking I have never seen them.  So that was my intention today but I must admit I was nearly knocked out of my kayak when about 6 of them were swimming across the river in front of me as I headed up to the springs.  Hope you can see his whiskers..........RIGHT

 A pair of otters

As you can imagine, I took LOTS of pictures of them but I'll spare you the rest.   They are SO cute the way they hump their backs as they swim and poke their heads up to see what's going on.  They even hissed at me.  I did think that wasn't very nice given how much I like them.  Perhaps they didn't feel the same about me.  Wonder what I can do about that?

And then when I got to the springs there was a woman in a glass bottom kayak.  She said it was the prototype and she was giving it a shake down.  Seems it has some reflection problems but it certainly looked neat.  Can you see her feet??

I left the springs and started my 7 mile paddle.   A little moorhen was out.

10 cormorants playing all around the campground take out where David left the trip.'
Check out his picture of them.  

And mine.....I can hear you whispering "It's the photographer".

Since it is fall in Virginia where I'm from, I thought I'd put some of Florida's version of fall from along the Rainbow River in today for any Virginia followers

The Rainbow has houses at various intervals along its banks.  Never imposing.  Lots of stretches of wilderness in between but when I saw this thing  I couldn't figure out what it was.  Anyone have a clue or even an idea??  A modern Greek temple on the banks of the Rainbow??

More folks out enjoying the beautiful day.

The "zoom can't handle it" Osprey picture

I was paddling under some low hanging limbs and spanish moss when I found myself being screamed at by this fellow who was quite far out over the water.  How did he do it without swimming?

 Cruising down the river........

The cypress just look so southern don't they?

Just after I came around a bed from the trees above, a HUGE bird flew off of a scag in the river.  It was a bald eagle and I couldn't get my camera up in time but I did follow him up to this tree top.  See him there in the middle of the tree line?  I know, you have to take my word for it on this one too.  But honestly......

That's him too, another zoom lens can't cut it shot.  But it sure was exciting to be all alone on that section of the river with this magnificent bird.

And this one is not an eagle

but he also flies.......

And just as I got to the bridge where I'd understood David was going to pick me up, I saw this thing with the giant fan propeller on the back.

And here is where I waited for about 75 minutes for my ride while he was waiting for me at another location I'd never been to before swearing he was watching the river for me and didn't see me glide by.  Hmmmmmmm  serious miscommunication.

But it was a fabulous morning - Ain't Life Grand???

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