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

Henry David Thoreau

I walk, We paddle

Thursday February 23, 2012
Site #13  Lithia Springs
*RTMOTP – remember to mouse over the pictures

Wednesday was not a running day but I like to get out  in the morning so I took a walk down to the spring. No one was around except the leaf blower and the resident Blue Heron and Duck Trio.
It just amazes me how noisy this lovely park is with the leaf blowing machines nearly every day blowing the leaves off the gravel sites and off
Hey you missed some.
the parking lots and off the side walks– well sometimes the side walks get skipped as you can see Here.  
He actually blew the leaves off the parking lot onTO the sidewalk this time and then turned and walked away.

I have to say, I do hate noisy leaf blowers and all those little engine excessively polluting things.  I really don’t understand it here in the middle of a beautiful Live Oak Forest and spring.   There really are not that many leaves and we are camping for heaven’s sake.  Who do leaves in the site bother?  Or on the parking lots.   The wind is going to blow them all around and back anyway.  Why waste the gasoline.  Pollute the air with the fumes and the noise?

Brrrmmmmm  Brmmmmm

He sure ruined the serenity of my morning walk and everyone else’s morning solitude as well I am sure.

But I waited and finally outlasted him as he drove off to deal with an onslaught of leaves somewhere else.

Got any goodies??

Then I enjoyed the company of the  3 ducks.  Larry, Curly and Moe???
OK Ducks and duck fans, what kind of ducks are these?

The heron was at about the same place David saw him yesterday.  I wonder if this is his favorite fishing spot?

hunkered down

close up hunker

He stood in this one spot and preened and stretched and I had such a good time watching him.
Head to knee pose
One legged stand

Twist to the left
Stand nice and tall now

We even stared at each other for a bit.
What ARE you looking at??

In an attempt to distract me, the one who appears to be the head duck flew up but not quite over the fence.

roosting on the fence

name this duck

I walked on around through the lovely live oaks and the SO southern looking Spanish Moss.

Morning Walk (29)

  This is a strong childhood visual memory for me of happy times visiting my Great Aunt Carrie for whom my daughter is named when she lived at 909 Sunset Drive in Ocala Florida.  Her street was treed just like this.

I always feel her near me among these trees and their “goats beard”.

By now I’m getting hungry and start back in the direction of Winnona
thinking about a scrambled breakfast vegan style.

Guess these leaves are OK

So when I get back and David says “what’s for breakfast”, this is what I suggest.  And it was just as good as I thought it would be.  Next time tumeric to give it that yellow scrambled egg color.

scrambled tofu and many veggies

You're sure about this???
Around 1:30 David finally got his wish, we set out in the kayaks on the Alafia River.  First we headed out to wlak the kayaks over to the boat dock.  it's a short walk along the park road but David doesn't like roads even in a nearly empty park with no cars on them at all.
David knew a short cut.  Or so he said.
So the short walk became a longer walk as we backtracked to the road and on to the dock.

boot dock launch
First we went upstream where I had been earlier so he could get a look at the water sides of the few campsites on the river.  We think next time we are here we’d like to get site #40 if we can.

No pictures of the site from the water though.  Neither of us took it.
We’ll get one when we move in there.  :-)

drifting along

still no paddling

Beautiful river

We glided along within two or three feet of this cormorant who never even batted an eye at us.  I wondered if he’d just come out of the water and perhaps his wings were too wet to fly but he wasn’t sunning them when we saw him.
Almost looks black and white

looking at me
watching me pass by

We didn’t go far upstream but turned around to go back down river
past where the spring run empties into the river. 
Pretty easy to notice with all the No Trespassing signs.
This is the larger spring in which you are allowed to swim.

Main spring mouth

And this the smaller which is roped off in the park with  “habitat restoration” signs
so that you can see it in its natural state. 
There is quite  a difference between the one set up for “use”
and the one left in its natural state..

Small spring mouth

We drifted on down stream slowly

quiet and beautiful

Passing by the usual river dwellers
See the Ibis on the tree limb?

How about now?
too close for comfort

We went through several fun small “rapids”.  We were surprised by another bigger one around a bend and when we went a bit further and there was ANOTHER one we started to wonder if we wanted to paddle back up all these “riffles”.

they kept getting bigger

So we turned around and started back up. 
We definitely were working hard and getting shoved across the river.

the river between us

At this point we got grounded on opposite sides of the river and took a break before
going on with the effort.

such style

Good place for a banana break.

David shoved off and got turned around going back down the river.
It was becoming funny. This river was having its way with us.
Never taking total control but not letting us have it either.

This river was cutting no slack

I was more stuck than David but the water under me was so shallow I could have gotten out and towed the boat. 
Only problem was that with the swiftness of the water, my getting out might have sent it on down the river in a hurry without me.

So David got himself over to my side of the river right by the bank where the water was calm but not on the rock face where I was stuck.  We used my paddle to pole him up on my right hand side so he could step out with the bank for support, get his boat into the shallows and tow me out.

careful, slippery rocks
Super Hat saves the day!!

Since we decided we’d have to come back another time with a shuttle to kayak the river downstream, we paddled up the smaller riffles back up stream.  David wanted to see the little river community I’d been to.

Afafia River shore 

Looks like a "week end" place

It was another wonderful day on the water.

Can't hug this big tree

Seldom happier than on the water


  1. Oh! OH! We know! Muscovy ducks.

    You got a duck on a fence!!! I laughed myself stupid at the pond in Lake City over a duck on a fence. I was doubled over and Annie was, like, it's a duck on a fence, hon. Thank you for another duck on a fence.

    The Good Luck Duck

  2. Is that frozen tofu in the scramble? Looks pretty good! We've enjoyed commercially made scramble, but that was in a different world. A world where vegans ruled and omnivores were scorned. Plus, I think Annie could make something more delicious than Amy.

    The Good Luck Duck

  3. What a lovely day you and David had. Rich could do almost anything that required strength. As much as I want to kayak, I can't because of the neck surgery I had years, ago. While it left me with no pain, it did leave me with a limited movement range.

    I camp with a group of women near or at my age, and they are big kayakers--3-4 of them have had rotator cuff problems so I decided to play it safely over the past few years, but I look at your beautiful pictures and I see what I've missed.

    Glad the two of you are doing well. Thanks for sharing such nice days.

    BTW, I HATE blowers, too.

  4. Wonderful, wonderful pictures.. great looking breakfast! Yummy!!

  5. so happy to see you both got out on the water today-I also hate blowers....looks like you also had a great walk...

  6. Instead of leaf blowers we should bring in some congressmen. With all the hot air they blow, there wouldn't be a leaf left in the entire county. Of course, there might be a more serious, smelly air pollution from them.

    Your boating trips remind me of intrepid explorers on the Amazon. Don't get captured by any headhunters... ;c)

  7. Looks like you both enjoyed your paddle. Nice to see you out there together.
    Your breakfast scramble looked awesome!

  8. Leaf blowers are irritating anywhere, anytime. Good to see David feeling well enough for some kayaking action.

  9. What a great paddle...just real glad you didn't float away;o))

    The Vegan Scramble looks like a real winner!! You two have so embraced this wonderful way of eating. Maybe you could start a sidebar with all the great recipes you have found?!?!

    Enjoy your time at Lathia... we are taking notes;o)))

  10. You are going to have to give us the ingredients to that dish. It looks good. Those are muscovy ducks.

  11. Your paddle looks like it was quiet and serene...just how time on the water should be. And yes, we need recipes please!

  12. I'm so glad you both got to take a kayak trip. I assume that means David is feeling good and no more hiccups!

    We stayed at a CG once where one of the volunteers spent way too much time leaf blowing. I felt the same way...it was extremely annoying and what was the point?

  13. Looks like it was a great day minus the leaf blower! Love Dad's pants! Great gift, no? ;)

  14. Gorgeous......sitting at my desk emailing all day just compounds my envy! Nevertheless, very glad that you're basking in the creation. The bird shots are awesome.....any reptile friends around? Love you guys!

  15. Just want you to know I think your blog is wonderful! The photos bring back memories of when I used to live in Florida and visit the very same place. Looks like you know how to have fun!

  16. Nice to see you both out paddling. Once again "Super Hat" proves there isn't anything he can't do and saves the day by getting your kayak unstuck. Maybe that made up for his "shortcut" to the boat dock? ;-)

  17. That breakfast plate is making me hungry!!

  18. Hi Sherry and David...this is Cathy Freund...I am Carol Boyd's sister. Jim (husband) and I met you and David several years ago at Carol's house; think it was Thanksgiving Day. I remember it was an interesting day of conversation and extended conversation.

    I have read some of your blog before, but only now have come to truly appreciate the verbal an visual art it contains. Loved, the father/son arm-in-arm photo and the comment, the beautiful bark on the tree, the RV with the flowers to boot, and so much more.

    Please know that you two will remain in my thoughts and prayers...I look forward to future postings...


Your comments are the best part of this blog for me.
I LOVE hearing from you!