Another Day That Was In Pictures With Captions

It’s time once again, to let my inner photojournalist out. Actually, she was outed a few days ago, so now it’s time for my inner photo editor to step in and compile a good story of last Saturday’s kayak outing from the 126 photos I took.  I must warn you that some of these pictures are so astonishing they may hurt your eyes. Astonishingly bad photos can do that.

We set out from Hunter Springs Park on a crisp sunny fall day.

Here are the kayaks ready and waiting to be launched. My kayak is the little golden yellow one third from the top. Actually, it’s Randy’s kayak, but he lets me borrow it.

We just left the park and are in the canal leading to Kings Bay. Looks like smooth kayaking ahead!

Who says Florida doesn’t have fall color? Of course, those aren’t dead leaves. Those are the blossoms of a golden rain tree.

We crossed part of Kings Bay to another canal that will take us to Three Sisters Springs.

We’re heading into Three Sisters Springs. It’s a narrow inlet that leads from the canal to the springs or the springs to the canal depending on which direction you are heading and I was heading in. Maneuvering can be a little tricky as the dive boats dump snorkelers in the canal so they can swim into the springs.

Can you believe someone is checking his phone while in the middle of so much natural beauty? This is part of what’s wrong with the world. We’ve been brainwashed by marketing experts to think that we need to be tethered to one another wirelessly at all times. While I used to enjoy a good game of tetherball, I really don’t want to be tethered at this point in my life. I left my phone in the car.

Now we’re heading out of the springs. It looks pretty shallow here, but that’s just because the water is so clear you can see every pebble on the bottom. Said bottom is anywhere from ten to thirty feet below the water’s surface.

If you look really close, you can see a manatee’s nose sticking out of the water. Some of those dark shadows are manatees.

Luckily, kayaks don’t make much wake.

This is an interesting picture but I have no idea what I was trying to capture. It’s possible that it was just a random accidental shot.

That’s what I was trying to capture and I did. Photographically. It’s an anhinga. Now see if you can find it in the previous photo. It’s like that Where’s Waldo game but with a bird.

I like this picture though it feels and looks slightly out of focus. It may be because it seems to embody the rule of threes. In the previous sentence ‘It’ refers to why I like the picture and not why it seems out of focus. It seems out of focus because it is out of focus. I had a fabulously out of focus day.

If this picture was in focus, you’d see a manatee. Manatees are very difficult to photograph.

This is where Kim, Chuck, Pete, Gwen and I broke from the group. Instead of finishing the five mile loop, we hung out in this spot trying to get pictures of manatees. There were about twenty manatees in this little area. Our boats were bumped a few times by manatees surfacing near us. I got a decent picture of a manatee and it’s in focus!!

This might look like a slightly out of focus picture of a splash of water, but it is a slightly out of focus picture of manatees mating or giving birth because that is when there is a lot of water splashing. And there was lots of splashing going on so I tend to think there was a lot of mating going on. It was hard to tell with all the splashing water.

This is a slightly out of focus picture of Gwen. Gwen takes great pictures. She has a new camera and I think she actually read the manual so she knows how to use her camera.

This is a picture of a manatee that Gwen took. I stole it off of the album she put together but I don’t think she’ll mind because now she’s practically famous among my small but deeply disturbed readership. I assume my readers are deeply disturbed because I’m not sure why else they would read. I also think deeply disturbed is a high compliment. I think this because quite a few people think I am deeply disturbed so it must be a good thing.

This is a close up view of a manatee. I know it looks like a couple of slimy rocks, but it is a manatee’s back.

This is my picture of an osprey.

This is Gwen’s picture of the same osprey taken from the same vantage point. I think it is clear that she has the superior camera.

In this picture, Kim is giving yours truly some photography advice. It would help if it were possible to see the LCD screen in bright sunlight which it isn’t. It would also help if the waterproof housing didn’t block the little view finder which it does. Gwen took this picture with her spiffy camera.

I thought this would be a great picture and it would have been a great picture but alas, it is yet another blurry dream that will never be realized. I was paddling under a bridge. Technically, I was gliding because it is not possible to paddle and photograph at the same time.

This is an underwater picture of a manatee. I held my camera underwater and snapped a few frames. I didn’t realize the zoom was zoomed in at its maximum zoomed in point, but it was.

This is what happens when you’ve held your camera underwater and then you pull it out of the water and take a picture without drying off the part of the underwater housing that covers the lens. But it makes and interesting if slightly out of focus picture.

Now, we’re back in Kings Bay heading back to Hunter Springs Park.

Here we are, back on dry land. I tried to tell myself that all my slightly out of focus pictures were a result of the movement of the kayak, but I wasn’t in a kayak when I took this. I need to spend more time with my camera and possibly with the manual.

I didn’t want to leave you feeling slightly out of focus so here’s another picture Gwen took. And this one is of me in Three Sisters Springs taking one of my many slightly out of focus pictures.

So that was my day that was in pictures with captions. And this is my 200th post!

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28 thoughts on “Another Day That Was In Pictures With Captions

  1. I just randomly stumbled across your blog. Your pictures were very fun to look at! My husband and I spent all summer canoeing the Black Warrior River in North Alabama. I didn’t think to make a post about it! Even your slightly out of focus photos were exciting. The water in Three Sisters Springs is so clear! When we go canoeing the biggest animal we see underwater are Gar and those have only been as big as 4 or 5 feet. I imagine being among manatees is an incredible feeling. I have always loved them since I was a little kid! Great post!

    • Thanks, Ellise. Perhaps you and your husband can bring your canoe to central Florida on your next vacation and explore some of our beautiful spring fed rivers. Your best chance of spotting manatees is in the winter.

  2. That’s it. I need to go Kayaking again. That was fun and I was surprised at the lack of Gators. Great times and congrats on your 200th post! Woo- Hoo! :)

        • Yeah, the boaters in these parts complain about the manatee restrictions (no wake zones and idle speeds on many parts of the bay and rivers) but when you see all the scars on the backs of manatees from run-ins with propellors you realize the restrictions are a good thing and once they get to the gulf the boaters can go as fast as they like. Plus manatee watching brings in tourists which helps our local economy.

  3. Manatees! I love manatees and I’m so glad to see them in a habitat where there are no jet skis or motor boats hurting them. That osprey photo is stunning. Where in Florida are you, Sandy?

    • Yes, Gwen gets some great wildlife photos. I live in Homosassa which is about 80 miles north of Tampa on the Gulf coast. Crystal River is the next little town north and that is where all of these pictures were taken.

  4. I saw manatees in Tampa when I visited in the winter, but not that close. Congrats on 200! A couple of bossy females that I’m not married to, convinced me to try for that number.

    • When you’re in a kayak you can get very close to manatees. Sometimes they surface right next to your boat although it can be a little scary if they surface under your boat because then you could capsize but that hasn’t happened to me yet.

      I’m sure you can get to the 200 mark, though t’s more about the journey rather than the end nor does 200 have to be the end. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy your journey to 200.

  5. Congrats on 200 posts! I just made 100 a little while ago. Loved the pics, even the slightly out of focus ones. That spring water is certainly clear to be able to see down into it so well. Loved the pics of the manatees too!

  6. My jealousy of your kayaking adventure is tempered by my joy that you had it (and shared it with us!)
    I wasn’t able to get in a kayak all summer. Fortunately, I can go vicariously through you.

    Congrats on 200!

    • A kayakless summer?!? I can’t even imagine such a thing. That’s not true, I only started kayaking 3 or 4 years ago so I remember kayakless summers well. Now, I’m happy to vicariously share.

    • It NEVER gets old. It is amazing to see a manatee glide under your boat or stick its nose up right next to your boat. It is one of those things everyone should get to do because it is that magical.

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