It was one of the fabulous days: going upstream with an incoming tide, returning downstream with an outgoing tide, no wind, the river was as still as one rarely sees. The temperature was cool, but soon warmed up to 60, the sky cloudless, and there were always new things to see and experience on Womack Creek.
The Ochlockonee River is on the right, Womack Creek on the left as seen from put-in, the Womack Creek campground landing.
It was warm enough for the river cooters and the alligators. The little juvenile who likes to hide in the alligator weed was there again. The larger juvenile who is probably an adult by now has grown — will this creek be able to support it? There’s always the Ochlockonee to Crooked River to the tributaries to move to.
At high water, we didn’t have to skirt around the trees which fell into the creek. The forests in the creek were spared the tornadic destruction we saw in some areas along SR 65, less on SR 67. But the cyclonic pattern of force was shown in the sweet bay tree below.
There were lots of birds in the area: a flock of grackles which foraged loudly through the forest on forest floor and in the understory and, later, a flock of robins who chose to stay at understory height, also noisy. A small flock of ducks have come early, always very skittish. A pair of great egrets, a great blue heron, two hawks, a number of smaller birds, and the ever present kingfisher. We were only able to photograph the grackle.
A sulphur butterfly and a skipper found slim sipping — only a few flowers were blooming: clematis crispa, vining asper, Symmond’s aster and swamp sweetbells being the major blooms throughout the creek. However, in one area, every year, a pinxster azalea bush puts out its blooms — the petals do not fully open, but it blooms. And, it seems every month we visit the creek, we see at least one stem of green fly orchids in bloom.
The dahoon, yaupon holly berries are red; the American holly berries will be by Christmas.
It was a paddling day — no wind, the current with us, the right temperature and full sun.
How lucky can we in North Florida be? To have such great places to paddle and be restored.