Silver River, Low Water, Cypress Roots!

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jamesrobertsmith
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Silver River, Low Water, Cypress Roots!

Post by jamesrobertsmith » Mon May 06, 2013 11:41 am

When we got to the Silver River with our kayaks, we found the water down about two+ feet from our last visit. I had thought that spring-fed rivers and runs in Florida were exempt from the effects of drought, but then I forgot that the surrounding areas drain vast acreage and the river levels fluctuate during drought. One thing that I noticed on some cypress trees that grow right on the riverbank is that they have formed a kind of picket fence with roots and knees that is apparent when the water drains off. Perfectly seen in this video I shot as I floated past a cypress tree along the Silver River:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21I5sedc3II

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21I5sedc3II

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Will Blozan
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Re: Silver River, Low Water, Cypress Roots!

Post by Will Blozan » Mon May 06, 2013 4:14 pm

JRS,

Very cool! I wish I was there instead of in bed recovering from an appendectomy...

Thanks for the brief trip!

Will

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jamesrobertsmith
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Re: Silver River, Low Water, Cypress Roots!

Post by jamesrobertsmith » Mon May 06, 2013 7:34 pm

Holy crap! Sorry to hear that! I know from friends who have gone through it, that it's a painful experience. Here's to a quick recovery!

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Bart Bouricius
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Re: Silver River, Low Water, Cypress Roots!

Post by Bart Bouricius » Tue May 07, 2013 8:23 pm

Nice to see roots, but I suspect the tree is not so happy. My understanding is that cypress like relatively static water levels, but I know little about this, and Will, at least your appendix won't be able to kick you around anymore in the future. Get better soon.

Joe

Re: Silver River, Low Water, Cypress Roots!

Post by Joe » Wed May 08, 2013 5:27 am

Brings back memories of a boat ride in the Okefenokee in '74. The weather looked threatening but the ranger said it would clear- so we headed in, on the Swanee River in a rented metal fishing boat. We saw gazillions of incredible birds- herons, wood storks, ibises- at one point the sky was filled with them. After we went about as far as you can go- a horrific lightning storm came up. We turned around and headed out but it took a few hours- with non stop lightning. I was steering the boat but not well, as the rain was very heavy and I wear glasses. At some spots the channel narrows down and you have to weave through the cypress roots but going that slow you can't steer well- so the boat got caught up on a submerged root. By then I was planning on roughing up that ranger if I ever saw him again. A number of times we saw lightning hit trees very, very, very close to us- and I cringed expecting to be electrocuted- but we never got juiced and I don't know why. Oh, did I mention we saw plenty of 'gators in the water. I realilzed that we might get juiced, then eaten by 'gators! When we finally got back- we were drenched and very angry. Strange but true- the rain had stopped- and in the middle of a field next to some utility buildings was a clothes dryer! I didn't find that ranger- lucky him. The scariest experience of my life- other than a few times being chased by a bully in grammer school. :)
Joe

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jamesrobertsmith
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Re: Silver River, Low Water, Cypress Roots!

Post by jamesrobertsmith » Wed May 08, 2013 8:22 pm

Were you in the Okefenokee Swamp Park or the Stephen C. Foster State Park? Foster is by far my favorite.

The number of gators in the Swamp is staggering. They are everywhere. In large numbers and in huge sizes. Once on Billy's Lake we were shadowed by an extremely large gator as we puttered around the lake...when he got very close to the boat I noticed that the tip of his snout was wounded and had obviously been hit by a boat propeller. That didn't seem to have taught him any lessons as he got very close to our own prop, indeed.

We don't see many large gators on the spring runs that we frequent in Florida. I don't know why. There was one very large gator on the Juniper Springs Run the last time we were there. A National Forest ranger told us where it liked to sun and to watch for it, explaining to us that it was the biggest gator any of the rangers had ever seen in the wild--they estimated it at 16-feet. We saw its slide where the ranger told us to look, but no gator. Which made us nervous. A week later a young woman was killed in the spring run by a large alligator. I've always wondered if it was the big animal the ranger had told us to look for.

Joe

Re: Silver River, Low Water, Cypress Roots!

Post by Joe » Thu May 09, 2013 5:47 am

James, we entered via the Stephen C. Foster State Park- which I think is only a small part of the full swamp. Then rented a boat and went up stream to Billy's Lake and much further. I felt I had gone back to the Jurasic. Some friends went during the 'gator mating season and said that they roar at night like we imagine dinasaurs would do.

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jamesrobertsmith
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Re: Silver River, Low Water, Cypress Roots!

Post by jamesrobertsmith » Fri May 10, 2013 5:53 am

Yeah, the gator-mating season is a must! They sound kind of like outboard motors cranked up to full throttle. If you're near a bull when he does that, the water all around him vibrates and droplets leap into the air.

Joe

Re: Silver River, Low Water, Cypress Roots!

Post by Joe » Fri May 10, 2013 6:04 am

jamesrobertsmith wrote:Yeah, the gator-mating season is a must! They sound kind of like outboard motors cranked up to full throttle. If you're near a bull when he does that, the water all around him vibrates and droplets leap into the air.
the Oki really is fantastic-- too bad little if any of it is old growth- I think they built elevated rail roads into to exploit the timber

anyone else been there?

Joe

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DougBidlack
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Re: Silver River, Low Water, Cypress Roots!

Post by DougBidlack » Fri May 10, 2013 11:00 am

Joe,

I've been there a couple of times. Once in the early eighties with my brother to go fishing and canoeing for a day before we went up to the smokies for a while and once within the last decade with my wife. Ellen and I went canoeing for three days after a conference in Savanna. I think it was late February or early March and we went during a cold snap. The locals thought we were nuts! It was absolutely wonderful but I would like to go again when it's warmer because we only saw a few alligators on the last, warmest day.

Doug

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