Paddling Womack Creek on a lovely spring Saturday

March 8, 2014  —  Sky: blue  —  Temperature: 70’s  –Wind: Still

Pinxter azaleas — 5 bushes in bloom, more to follow in two weeks.P1070044

Walters Viburnum, now blooming throughout the 3.75 miles from Womack Creek Campground to Nick’s Road Primitive Camp Site.

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Swamp jessamine  –  the first bloom of the season on the creek.

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Shades of green, throughout the creek

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Buttercups blooming demurely throughout the creek.

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A variety of great trees: cypresses, pines, oaks, sweet gums, bays, tupelos, Florida maples, ash, a diversity of native trees, shrubs and plants.

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Not just paddlers enjoying a beautiful Saturday.

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Rock Landing Road in Tate’s Hell and Hway 67, a bouquet of thistle leaves (Cirsium horridulum)  with a thistle bloom stem in the middle.  This is a native species common to roadsides and a popular nectar and pollen site for insects.    Rock Landing Road east of 67  is a good place to photograph the young and blooming thistles now — dramatic photo opportunities with their sculptured form.

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St. Johns Worth and vining and climbing Carolina Jessamine (different species than the swamp Jessamine shown above) are patches of gold on the ground and tree branches (respectively) right now.   Ti ti bushes are blooming and defying the control burns in both Tate’s Hell and the Apalachicola National Forest.

The roads on the west side of 67 may not be easy to drive through without 4 wheel drive after spring rains.  To attempt to restore the normal water flow patterns of the watershed, low areas are filled with gravel and water is allowed to course over the roads.  In some areas not filled with gravel, sections of the road may have been opened up by the natural water flow and a non-4 wheeled drive vehicle may find itself mired in the sand or muck.

The New River at camp site 7 is down about 2 feet from a week ago and the white sand bank opposite the camp site is visible.  The water seems to be flowing as fast as the previous week, however.  East River Road between campsite 6 and 7 have areas of deep, rutted mud after rains.   If you must go to campsite 7 go via County Line Road and turn south to East River Road (not marked, but County Line Road ends soon after the missed turn).

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