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

Henry David Thoreau

Alexander Springs Day

Tuesday November 13, 2012
Site #8 Salt Springs Recreation Area Florida


*I’m behind on my posts and a real drawback to that is we didn’t have all the great informative comments on Juniper springs before we made our decision which turned out to be sort of by default.  Trying to catch up so that won’t happen again.  You all have great advice, keep it coming.


Juniper or Alexander?  Which to kayak??

We decide we can’t make a decision until we’ve seen them both so we put the kayaks on the car and off we go to see Alexander Springs and decide which to kayak first.

$5.50 gains us admission to the park and two green tags for boat launching. We find a lovely spring with a sandy beach, numerous picnic tables and a nice boat ramp.  The Timucuan Trail is right off the picnic area.


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72 degrees year round!

I take a dip in the spring, 72 degrees, we have lunch and plan out our day.  We decide to kayak the spring run and then come back and do the short trail.

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It’s a cloudy day but the weather folks say the chance of rain is only 10%.  None the less, it starts sprinkling as we are finishing our lunch and then begins raining.

We decide to drive the campground loops in the rain and hope it’s just a passing shower.  The campground has 4 loops.  Bath houses and water spigots are available as is a dump station but no electric or water at each site.  $19 or $10 with a senior pass.  Because of the rain, I have no site pictures but they are lovely spots in the trees and we found several we might enjoy.


The rain did let up and we get the yaks on the carts. 

We are getting a bit of a late start due to the rain delay.  It is 2:00 when we are finally in the water.


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Alexander has a very nice canoe/kayak launch.  No motor boats allowed.


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Alexander Spring run is not quite as wide as Salt Spring and there are no power boats which is very nice.   It is an over cast day but lovely none the less.

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It is great to see David feeling that he can do another paddle this week and not be fatigued.


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 Seems like a birding day.

At first we see mostly cormorants and anhingas.


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There were spots of fall color.

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I know these are somebody’s eggs but maybe Judy can tell me whose.

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Fall berries line the banks.

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The reflections in the water are wonderful.

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I have to email Judy to get an id here although I should have thought to check Limpkin since we’d seen some last winter at one of the Hillsborough County parks.  The memory sure isn’t very sharp.  But aren’t they great looking?
Thanks Judy.


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The male anhinga

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The female anhinga has this glossy tan neck neck. 


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The further down the run we went, the more decayed vegetation we found.  Great hiding place.  I thought for sure there would be alligators in some of it but I saw none.

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We turn around at the first bridge and head back along the opposite bank where we encounter these bushes covered with butterflies.

The trip back turns out to be much longer as I hang around and watch the butterflies and then many more birds are out as it nears dusk.

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I love the way they all pose.
Of course I know they are going on about their own business but they look like posers to me.

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This green heron is paying me no mind at all as he skulks along and grabs things out of the detritus floating on the run.  I spend a long time watching him.


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Check out the green legs on this little blue heron.

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We arrive back as the sun is setting.  It’s too late for even a short hike on a dark trail but not too late for another swim.


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And I have the entire spring all to myself -

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  1. what a great day you had so happy to hear that David is feeling much better..nothing like having the whole spring to yourself..:)...Sherry your pictures are wonderful...

  2. Limpkin it is... see you are getting better and the memory is grand!

  3. I have no idea what those eggs are, sorry. I'm not sure I could get myself into 72* water. :)

    What a great place to paddle. I'd love it, if I could get into the kayak...maybe after I get all fixed up.

  4. Great animal photos today! I can never get turtle photos because they plop in the water just as I get my camera ready, and they seem to be able to see me when I'm not even close! Or they feel the vibrations of me coming, I don't know which!

  5. Beautiful butterflys!!!! and Terrific Turtles!!!

  6. I'm with Judy ... that water has to be a heck a lot warmer before i'll go in. Glad you guys had a good day on the water.

  7. Wonderful to see David out paddling! He's doing great! :c)

    Nice to see you've been getting some nice swims in, too. Keep that up and your fingers will always be wrinkled. ;c)

  8. Sherry,
    Thanks so very much for the kayaking adventure through your photos! Yay for having the springs to yourself!

  9. I admire you and David for a lot of things, Sherry, but I think I admire you most for being able to wring every bit of happiness and joy out of a day! Great pictures! You would have made a very happy fish or manatee! :)

  10. Great paddle... wish I was there! Judy the bigger question is not getting in the kayak but rather getting out!

  11. The eggs are from snails, most likely apple snails. You have some lovely photos of Eastern Tiger Swallowtails and Gulf Fritillaries! I'm glad you guys are getting out and enjoying the area. Can't wait to see how you like Juniper!

  12. Fantastic bird and butterfly pictures! I know I'm on the journey with you for this week, but I wish I'd been with you on Alexander Springs day - what a pretty place!!

  13. Glad to see both of you out on the kayaks. Nice smiles :) Love the pics of the birds and butterflies too!

  14. You take fantastic pictures of the local birds. Happy to see you found a quiet place to enjoy life.

  15. That spring looks delightful for kayaking, but 72 is too cold for me to swim in. Got some great bird sightings and shots. Nice to get out.

  16. Great to see you both having such a wonderful time together. The pictures of the birds are fantastic

  17. I meant to add, also, the black butterfly is a Palamedes Swallowtail. The orange one I called a Gulf Fritillary could actually be a Monarch. I can't tell well enough from the picture. :)

  18. Sherry, I believe those are Apple Snail eggs.

  19. It looks like you had a great time. The number of pictures taken/posted relates to how good of a day you had...in my opinion. :)

    Love the butterfly pictures. I think you should definitely do the Juniper springs run. Listen to Paula more than me. She's kayaked there much more than we have. Our one time trip surely was unusual.

    Remember your post last summer about those pink eggs? They look like the same to me, but the ones from last summer appeared to be on land?


    Glad to see Davids energy level seems to be much better!!!

  20. What a fun jammed time! Love seeing you floating out there and what amazing birds!
    Thanks for sharing all the fun!

  21. Great pics! Especially like the butterflies. They're just beautiful!


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