This was not the best conditions for paddling. But we were here to do a field report for February, 2018. The temperature was 58F, hardly any wind, but throughout the paddle, it was this gloomy. Just for about 30 minutes, at the end, there was sun trying to break through the clouds. By then, not quite 4 hours later, it was, at least, 10 degrees warmer.
But, spring is clearly here.
Blueberries shrubs were blooming throughout the creek. We were expecting to see Walter’s viburnum blooming — these blooms usually precede blueberries blossoms. But the few blossom heads were just blooming. In two weeks, however, or even less if temperatures stay in the 60’s during the day, the buds will be bursting forth with flowers.
A few trees were blooming: hornbeam, pumpkin ash, Florida maple.
A single bush of pinxter azaleas was beginning to bloom. And, the green fly orchids never cease to amaze us — a single bloom was there as though to announce that it was one of the cold hardiest of plants on the creek.
We have never seen a live apple snail on the creek, although we have seen its eggs. However, this shell was lodged between trunk and branch. Apple snails, both native and invasive, are food for limpkins. We have never seen a limpkin on this creek, however.
And a remnant of the summer past, two odd-shaped hornet’s nests.
Just a few cooters and two juvenile alligators.
Didn’t stop at Nick’s Road campsite for lunch, there was still a chill in the air.
But we discovered three more invasive climbing ferns which we will have to dig up and dispatch within the week.