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

Henry David Thoreau

January 1, 2015

January 1, 2015, Oscar Scherer State Park, Osprey, Florida







We have been at Oscar Scherer for almost two weeks now which is as long as you can stay in a Florida State Park before you have to move on.  Today is our last day and the first day of 2015 so we decide to start the year out with a paddle on South Creek which flows by our campsite.   The kayaks, Tootsie and Necky, have been waiting  patiently for us near the rental boats at the boat ramp where there really is a great kayak ramp to both exit and enter the water.  I am remiss in not having taken a picture of it.





I am a very happy paddler with my new light weight carbon paddle.  SO nice to have it back after nearly a year of paddling with the longer heavier one from the Sea Eagle which we are thinking about selling since we so seldom if ever use it.  Anyone interested??

It’s a very gray day.  We’ve had a lot of those since we arrived in the Sunshine State this year.  My parents moved to Florida in 1980 largely because my mother wanted to escape the gray days of winter in Ohio.  I think of her and wonder what she’d have to say about this.  At least the temperatures are much nicer than most anywhere else I know of except maybe the desert southwest.



An anhinga high in the top of a tree catches my attention and when I look down I see a great blue heron striding along across a channel off from the main creek.  I turn down it to see where he’s going.






I stay back and he just moves along the edge and when he gets to the end of this little channel he disappears down the tiny inlet.  So I have to turn around.


I sure can’t follow him down here.



But he has circled back and by the time I get turned around in my 13.5’ boat and am paddling out the channel, there he is on the bank again in front of me.





We paddle back out on the main South Creek which, with the water up around high tide, could pass for a small river.



There are a couple of viewing/fishing platforms off of the trail that runs along the creek opposite the campground.



Pretty soon we come to some nice waterfront sites.  They are too small for Winnona but perfect for small trailers and tents.


This one is my favorite.  Love that tree.


Further on up the creek I can see Winnona peeking over the edge.



And there she is as we paddle by.  Hi Winnona!


We paddle up under the bridge we drive over coming into the campground.  We know we can paddle up as far as the footbridge over the Visitor’s Center from the top of the campground.  But usually you cannot go any further without portaging over the rocks just beyond the bridge.



But today we have come at high tide and with a little effort we can get through the rocks and on up into the upper part of the creek beyond the campground.   No pictures, I was too busy navigating my way through. 

The creek becomes more and more narrow as we go.  I’m so close as I approach I’m amazed that my presence does not phase this gorgeous little green heron.   He is very busy fishing.   I hang around a long time taking pictures of him.  I’m seriously close to him and he just isn’t paying me any mind.  He stands perfectly still and then skulks around in the water. I love it!   His colors are stunning.






Ready to strike and he does.


I can’t tell what delicious morsel he has captured but he’s pretty happy.


The striking detail on his feathers is magnificient.  I leave him to his work and paddle on.




It’s a really lovely paddle into the upper parts of the creek.  I’ve only been here once before and David has never been here so he’s very happy to have been able to get up this far on the first day of the new year.  Maybe it’s a good omen.



Narrower and narrower is the creek and when we round this bend…………



We find this tree.  But we can get under that.  So on we go.



And then we come to this one where the creek narrows into a muddy stream.   IMG_3378




We might be able to portage through here since I believe the creek widens out further up. But, when the tide goes back out we’d have to portage across the rocks back at the foot bridge so we decide we’ll be lazy paddlers and just turn around.





On the way back David is in the lead so I can get some pictures of him slipping under the tree and paddling through this beautiful natural Florida water way.








We do make it back through the rocks at the footbridge but no pictures this time either.  We head under the vehicle bridge and pass Winnona again coming back.



The park rules ask you not to kayak from your campsite.  Ours is too steep for it anyway but I’m betting the folks in the smaller campsites down stream violate that rule.  


And sure enough, we didn’t see this paddling up but we do coming down.








We are almost to the take out when I think to get a picture of one of my favorite trees on the river.   When we get to the boat dock, it is full of rental kayaks getting in the creek at 3:30 rental time from the park.  

We paddle on down the creek toward the Intracoastal waterway and turn back when we think they are finished.   I’m not close enough to get a picture of David using the kayak launch to pull himself out of the water and he no longer has a working camera but trust me this is  the best kayak launch we’ve seen anywhere we’ve been in nearly 5 years of full timing.  




South Creek is a fun and easy paddle so if you are at Oscar Scherer be sure to do it.  Use your own boat or they’ll happily rent you one.



  1. fun and beautiful times. . .Hi Winona indeed. . .cute!

  2. What a beautiful place for a paddle!

    I've only seen green herons in photography, but blue herons are here in the summer. I love watching them at work fishing in rivers and lakes.

  3. Lovely paddle on a lovely creek!! Hope to get to give it a go when we are there in a week or so:o)) Yea... you could reach out and touch that beautiful green heron!!!

  4. The birds are so beautiful. I've seen blue herons many times but if I ever saw a green heron I didn't realize what it was.

  5. Now that was one beautiful way to start the new year! I have never seen a green heron in person, they sure are gorgeous. Thanks for taking me there!

  6. I think maybe this is my favorite of the paddles you have done. I really like that shot of yours after you say, "Maybe it's a good omen."

  7. That bird is beautiful! What a way to start 2015!

  8. I love when you go kayaking into what looks like the wilds. That green heron is awesome.

  9. Absolutely beautiful location, and nice to get the kayaks out. We've gone from snow-capped mountains to once again, blue skies and mid 70s. Very nice...

  10. Excellent pics of Green Heron, nice sighting. We have not seen many and never that good.

  11. The green heron is so beautiful! Those feathers are so pretty. Great reflection photo:)

    That photo right after you mentioned "a good omen," is absolutely amazing! It looks like a painting. Great capture, Sherry!!

    What a wonderful start to the new year:) Good Omen, I hope!!

  12. Glad to hear Santa brought you some more good kayak paddles. I don't think I could have lasted with the ones from Sea Eagle.

    Sherry, that picture of the little green heron is gorgeous. I don't think I've ever seen one quite that colorful, or maybe I haven't been as close, but that was was certainly beautiful. I think that might be the best picture you've ever taken. I think you should frame one of those pictures and put it on your wall. They have places that will reproduce them on canvas and frame them for you. It's such a wonderful picture (all of them). You've inspired me to go take some pictures.

    I'm anxious to see where you have landed now. I miss the Winona and Duckie views you used to have on the blog....I always knew where you were.

  13. Love the close up of the green heron's feathers. Quite a dapper fellow.

  14. What a nice first day of 2015! I love the anhingas- the patterns on the feathers on his wings are beautiful! Great pictures of the green heron. I've never seen any like that- he's so small. You got some seriously great shots of him. How many do you have to delete to have ones that good. I have taken so many blurry dog pictures lately..... xxxooo

  15. The colors in your pictures are really beautiful -- especially the one after "Maybe it's a good omen." That one is spectacular!

  16. What a beautiful heron! I don't think I've ever seen a green heron. Your patience and his to sit and pose for a portrait are amazing :)

  17. Good omen, indeed! What a perfect way to start the New Year. Glad you have your favorite paddle back, too! Your photos of the green heron are some of the most beautiful I've ever seen.

  18. That's the one thing I wish we'd done while I was there-that paddle is really a nice one. What a gorgeous bird!!! That was a definite highlight :) Lovely paddle and how nice you could go so far down the creek. Excellent start to the New Year I'd say!

  19. I must have blinked and missed this post! Love the lazy, peaceful time on the water, a most perfect way to start 2015.

  20. That Green Heron was a superstar! Great shot with his reflection in the water.

  21. Kayaking looks like a lot of fun. The pictures of the green heron fishing are awesome.

  22. Best ever green heron pictures for sure. The prestrike pose is perfect. One of the most beautiful birds we have seen and always a treat. Very handsome and always well groomed.


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