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

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Headed to Silver Springs, the Dreaded Oil Light Comes On

December 15 & 16, 2016                                                          Most Recent Posts:
Thursday and Friday                                                               One Out of Two Isn’t Bad
Silver Spring State Park                                                         St. Augustine’s Night of Lights
Ocala, Florida




Before we leave Anastasia for Silver Springs we take our holiday hat shot by the beach.  We’ve done one of these every year we have been near the beach at Christmas time.



Everything is going perfectly until we pull out of the site and go to the dump and the oil light comes on.  NEVER drive your rig with the oil light on.   But we can’t leave it at the dump site so we pull it over into the luckily near by RV slots on the campground road.  It chatters all the way.  Now I’m really worried.

One of the things David did while we were here was to change Winnona’s oil.  A check of the oil shows that it is full up and perfectly clean.   But a check of the oil filter shows it is dry as a bone.  For the first time in more than 40 years of changing oil in every vehicle he’s ever owned, Fram has sold David a defective filter.   Well Great!



At least we’re out of our site and don’t have to worry about check out time but there is no way we are leaving the park until this is fixed.

David unhitches Ruby. drives out to Advance Auto and gets a Mobile 1 filter.  He returns and its back under the rig to swap it out.  Light goes out, chattering stops. 

Problem solved with not much expense but over 2 hours of complete inconvenience.   There’s no life without problems and I’m very thankful that it appears we have  not damaged the engine.

But by the time we can get to Silver river it will be after dark and the gate will be  locked so I call the park, explain our situation, and they give me the gate code.  Now I think everything is covered.

We get on the road.  It is late in the afternoon, we are heading west.  Can you see visibility problems?  Finally the sun goes down and we arrive and set up in the dark.  I think this is the first time in now 6 years of full timing that we’ve set up in the dark.  It will be very interesting to see what it all looks like in the morning.  Luckily it is a pull through so changes will be easy to make.   It turns out none are necessary.





We awake to 47 degrees.  Now I know those of you for  whom this is your high temperature aren’t going to be feeling very sympathetic but that’s pretty cool for a low in Florida.

The plan had been to be at the Silver River campsite by 2 or 3 in the afternoon yesterday, set up and take the kayaks down to the river and lock them up so I could get out on the river first thing in the morning.

That didn’t happen so we walk them the 3/4 mile trail from the campsite to the river.  It’s not a difficult walk but wheels are necessary.

David has calls he needs to make to doctors and pharmacies.  He’s tired and needs a nap so he chooses to lock up his boat and go back to Winnona..

I’m sorry he doesn’t come along.  It is a sublime day to be on the river.  The skies are blue, the water is like glass.



Everybody is out but the people.   My kind of day.   Lots of turtles sunning.



The female Anhinga has a distinctive furry looking brown neck.



The water is reflecting the Bald cypress roots and trunks.









The male anhinga has the black neck.



Then the day turns in to a study of a few of the birds I see beginning with my amazing stroke of luck to be floating up stream against the spring current when I drift by a pair of wood ducks who even more amazingly do not fly off.  Somehow my boat stops about 10 feet from them and they still do not fly off.   I snap picture after picture as I watch them but I do think the male must hear the lens of my camera though I have all the sound turned off.  He seems a bit skittish.  Perhaps they are always like that.  I still can’t believe they didn’t fly away.




Wood ducks are among the most beautiful of all North American birds in my opinion.



At first I didn’t recognize that there were a pair though I know they usually travel in pairs.  I didn’t see her at the other end of the log.  I am trying not to turn my head.   Actually they are both pretty difficult to see among all the green unless you look closely.







Even here when they have moved closer together she is difficult to spot.  He takes all your attention.  I suppose that is the point.





Really this is almost impossible to believe unless you see it for yourself.





They do finally fly off together and I paddle on up the river.




I enjoyed myself so much staying for a half hour or so watching the wood ducks that when I see a group of common moorhens, I pull over and float into the water plants on their side to watch them.  They are much less skittish and much busier than the Wood ducks.



Their bills remind me of candy corn.






Another, can you believe it part of our natural world.




Further up, I watch a Green Heron for a while.  They sure do look different depending on how they stand and what they do with their necks.


And then an adult Little Blue Heron.





Not sure what got the Green heron all riled up  but he looks great!   I’ve never seen him with his “kingfisher hair” before.



I’m not making much progress to the spring head but there are just so many birds to watch.

The sun is slipping low in the sky when I see this anhinga with his shadow on the cypress tree as he dries his wings from fishing in the river.





When I paddle further back I can see him with his shadow in the water.  Which picture do you like better?




At this point, I’ve turned around and headed back to the dock.  A group of cute Pied Billed Grebes are the last that I pull  over to watch for a while.






Another Green Heron shows off his beautiful wing patterns from the side.  Just look at the intricate designs and colors.


I dock the kayak, pull it up and lock it to David’s on a canoe/kayak rack from which the campground used to rent boats.  Now all boat rentals are done at the head springs on Route 40.   I didn’t make it up there today but I’ll paddle another day with greater purpose.  Today was just a wonderful lazy bird filled day on the beautiful Silver River.

My walk back to the rig on the River Path isn’t too shabby either.


  1. The anhinga looking off to the right is my preference.

    Wood ducks turn up here, but out in the countryside.

  2. Interesting about the oil filter. Jim changes ours, too, but never uses Fram as he heard bad things about them years ago. Guess they haven't improved!

  3. Wow, good thing you caught that oil filter issue right away! It could have been really bad. I don't use Fram filters, either because they do have a bad rep. I actually carry extra filters in our Journey, two of every filter we have, oil, water, primary and secondary fuel filters. Plus extra oil and coolant. I guess I over do it some times. ;c)

  4. You certainly hit the jackkpot on beautiful birds today.

    It just happens to be 47 here right now at 7pm, with a low in the morning of 34, so I can feel sympathy for you in Florida but not much :-)

  5. Love them birds! I agree the Wood duck is so colorful, I liked the Anhinga with its shadow, it looked like Batman up on a tree.
    And that is a lovely picture of you and David with your santa hats on the beach.

  6. Fantastic bird pictures! Enjoyed them. I always use Fram filters and after about 35 years, never had one fail like that. Good catch and hopefully no damage done. Should be a chilly morning tomorrow with that front that just passed us.

  7. Thank you for the beautiful photos.

  8. So glad Winnona got over her belly ache with no further complications!!!

    AHHHHH...Silver River, my all time favorite paddle. Thanks for taking us out there again. I definitely am a shadow lover so the Anhinga reflection photo is my favorite. As for the Wood Ducks, when we were there in October, there were pairs everywhere and they did not seem concerned that we were watching them either. Perhaps they were born there and just are use to seeing our looks of wonder;o)))

  9. It's nice to have a mechanic on board. Love the Christmas photo. Happy New Year.

  10. Reflections of anything are my favorite :) So nice to see the wood ducks, they are one of nature's most beautiful creatures. Glad you didn't drive too far with no oil filter working, that could have been disastrous!

  11. Great bird pictures I was at Silver Springs December 4th through the 8th I have not been out to paddle for 3 years because of my back problem Maybe This Year anyway we saw the monkeys on the River Trail we took their path clear to the river and just before we got to the river on the dock there a whole troop of them went by it was cool I made a blog post about it if you want to check it...

  12. So glad that oil issue was a two hour deal that made you late rather than a huge deal!! The birds! Incredible! The wood ducks (yes, even the lady) are pretty birds. I like the anhinga with shadow picture. Nature's diversity is amazing...makes me thankful for the parks.

  13. Great pictures of the wood ducks. Never heard of a defective filter - what a bummer. Nice picture of you two in your Santa hats.

  14. Thank goodness that was a mild, yet irritating, problem. Your bird photos are absolutely amazing! I agree about the beauty of the Wood Duck. Such a nice paddle.
    Happy New Year!

  15. I love seeing you guys in your Santa hats on the beach! It reminds me of our fun time together last December in the Keys. :-) Your bird photos are outstanding—I especially love the Wood Ducks. They're so shy, and so beautiful.

  16. Wow, I am sorry I missed that paddle! What a fabulous bunch of birds!! Who can compete with the wood duck though for pure beauty? The male is indeed stunning and a great distraction to protect the females it would seem. Lots of other great pictures. Of the anhingas, I like the one with the shadow on the tree.

  17. Anhingas are my favorites and I'm delighted you shared some, but truly the Wood Ducks are amazing. What a treat to spend some time without them taking off. Such a relaxing paddle after the near-drama of the oil filter issue.


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