If you’re interested in seeing Simon’s kayak trip, check out this site- http://www.floridastateparks.org/wilderness/Maps.cfm. He started on the upper right side of the map, White Springs, the green triangle, and made it to Woods Ferry River Camp, the green square just to the left of White Springs. To calibrate you, that’s about 9 river miles. He spent about 6 hours on the river but was doing as much drifting as paddling. On Day 2 he picked up the pace and made it to Holton Creek River Camp, the second green square, about 19 miles. The day included a stop at the second triangle on the map, Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park. He said he felt just fine at the end of day 2, not sore at all. If I had gone and slept overnight on a hard floor and then paddled a kayak for 8 hours, you’d have had to carry me the rest of the way. Day 3, Suwannee River State Park, 17 miles downstream so by my crude reckoning, he’s logged 45 miles so far. Last night he ate beef stroganoff; tonight mashed potatoes made from powdered potatoes. I think tomorrow night’s destination is the Troy Springs River Camp. He said he’s still feeling great, a little arm weary but not too much. Ran into his first gator today, a six footer and also a small herd of deer.
Day 4 and another 15 miles. He’s spending Saturday night at Dowling park. He sounded tired on this leg and may cut the whole thing short a day. I’m guessing after a good night’s sleep, he’ll stick it out the way he originally planned it. The adventure today was a stretch of the river that was loaded with leaping sturgeon. These are really monstrous fish and he said he could hear lots of splashing ahead and wondered what was going on. He rounded a bend and there was a stretch where they were leaping 3’ out of the water and belly flopping back. These guys can weigh over 100 pounds so if one landed on the boat, it would be a day to remember. And another gator.
Saw something awesome today. I’ve mentioned the family of turkeys that I spot on an off. Well today when I rounded the corner towards the mail and newspaper box, there was an adult turkey and 6-8 half size ones. I stopped and they slowly walked onto my neighbors property where I spotted another 6-8 smaller ones merging into my original group. Then another cluster appeared so I estimate there were close to 20 of these half size turkeys and one adult. I went back to the house, called my neighbor and he went up to take a look. He confirmed they were there and said the small ones were called “jakes”. I’d never heard that term and I’ve never seen such a large cluster. I guess when they grow to a certain size they leave the small family and cluster into groups of teenagers or tweens. Neat. I see so many different things on my morning walk to get the paper that I really should get in the habit of carrying my camera.
Here’s another garden factoid that you probably never find useful – it takes 2 months for corn stalks to decompose into useable compost. I cut down a whole, 6’ tall stalk and then cut it into pieces about 8” and pitch them into a compost pile. The thinking around me is that it will “never” decompose or never in any reasonable time. Fact is that I’ll be using it the end of this month; so less than 3 months. That’s just about when I need it for transplanting tomatoes into the garden. For each tomato plant I dig a 1 CF hole and fill it with fresh, newly made compost. The soil that I dig out of the hole goes to raise the level of the row, improving overall drainage. This time of the year that’s a big deal and a plant saver.