Cash Creek, Tate’s Hell State Forest – February paddling at its best!

P1120271

P1120270

 

 

 

 

It was a beautiful day to be out on the marsh, the swamp and the forests — all these habitats in one creek system, including an old drainage ditch dug by a the previously plantation operators.

Contrails in the sky, patterns of marsh rushes at eye-level, and below in the tannic waters patterns in the sand and muck.

P1120275

When the marsh leads into the swamp, occasional pines change to cypresses.

P1120299

 

 

 

 

 

 

An osprey was about, the first two paddlers saw it catch a fish, but nothing was stirring in the nest.  Perhaps later….ospreys return to their nests every year.

 

P1120286

Before entering the swamp, in the reeds, a green frog, trying hard to remained camouflaged.

 

 

P1120289

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The two paddlers in front saw an otter in two different parts of the creek — sleek, fat ones.

 

P1120298Migratory birds still have not found the yaupon or the dahoon berries, ripe and ready to eat.

But there was a kingfisher, a prothotonary warbler in the underbush and sounds of other birds in the marsh and the shrubs, not the noisy cocaphony of crows in the late fall.  A lone buzzard glided gracefully in the air drafts above the marsh and swamps.  Buzzards keep the land clean of rotting carcasses — we are thankful that they are around as housekeepers of the forest.

P1120300

 

 

 

 

 

This is bear food, the still green fruit of the laurel greenbrier and palmetto berries, still untouched.

P1120274

P1120283

But spring is here — the Florida maples are like daffodils and crocuses in the north!

 

 

 

 

And wax myrtles — ready to bloom.

P1120291

 

 

 

P1120324

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And titi already blooming.  But the bees have not seen them, although the scent is already perceptible.

P1120304

 

Into the old tree plantation canal — obvious because it is straight — the bridge marks the end of navigability.

Back to the put-in at the Cash Creek Day Use and Picnic ground, off Highway 65.

P1120317

 

P1120316

 

 

 

 

 

The play of contrails, ending a cool, but sunny day of paddling — 10 miles up three branches.

Only one other fishing kayak at take-out — he had gone downriver into the estuary.  We four kayakers had the whole creek to ourselves!

 

 

One thought on “Cash Creek, Tate’s Hell State Forest – February paddling at its best!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s