Tuesday, May 3, 2011

way down upon the suwannee river...

a dragonfly resting on shovel handle out back.

Buckeye Butterfly

every time i hear the name of that river...the Suwannee,
i can hear  ♪ ♪ 'Way down upon the Suwannee River...' ♪ ♪   playing in my head.
(well...it's better than hearing dueling banjos from 'Deliverance'....huh?!)

on saturday, we went for a drive...only about a 45 minute drive...
to where the old Lake City RR bridge crosses the Suwannee River.

we were hoping the water would be low enough to get down and wander
the river basin...in search of old bones, artifacts...cool stones...rocks.

BUT WAIT!   let me back track a little.
on the way up there, along Hwy 441...just before you get to small town Alachua...
we passed a local produce stand that's been there forever!
THAT DAY i had my camera with me...and sam did a U-ey
so i could snap pictures of these misspelled signs!
 ACEPTING is missing a 'C'.  
(EBT stands for Electronic Benefits Transfer. it's Florida's government
food stamp assistance)
fresh cut collards, mustards...
and don't forget to TURNUP the volume!?

OK...back on the road...we made it to the Suwannee...
off US Hwy 41, just south of White Springs.
as we hoped, the water was pretty low! 
usually all the rock you see here...is under water!

we walked along the exposed rock...limestone...
peering into the holes...or cavities, 
which have worn away over time from the rushing river.

as the water churns up the bottom...small stones...artifacts...debris...
can get trapped in these crevices in the rock.

the Suwannee River rises in the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia...
and runs south for over 240 miles...until it empties into the 
Gulf of Mexico in the small town of Suwannee, Florida.

(Slider Turtle soaking up the sun)

the Suwannee River's DARK..tea colored water...is because it flows through
forested swamps, picking up decaying vegetation.

(a Little Blue Heron...also enjoying the sun & running water)

(weathered wood at the edge of the water)

(looking under a large limestone rock)

(a damsel fly)

so with heavy pockets...we headed back to the truck.
we didn't find any old bones...or artifacts. but we did pick up
a few OLD shells!  SO old in fact...they're like rock!
we found petrified wood...fossilized shells and coral...from long ago...
when most of florida was covered by the earth's oceans!

on our way back to the main road we passed bunches of Coreopsis wildflowers. 
the Coreopsis is Florida's state wildflower!
you can see these bright yellow blooms all along the roadsides and in fields.

heading south down Hwy 41...toward home...
we passed some florida long horn cattle! well, probably originally from texas...
sam did another U-ey so i could get a couple of pictures!

...and a here's a Gopher Tortoise digging his burrow...on the side of the road...
Gopher Tortoises belong to a group of land tortoises that originated
in North America 60 million years ago!
in florida they're considered endangered and threatened.

back home...we put our collections together and rinsed everything off.

look closely at this piece of coral (you can enlarge).
it amazes me when i hold something like this...to feel it in my hands...
thinking about how old it is...and what the earth was like when this 
coral was alive...in the ocean.

and all the little long skinny pieces...
like stone...but what are they? petrified wood? coral? 
whatever! i could do this every day! 
hike...explore...search for treasures...
but we need to pay the bills.  :)

thanks for stopping by...and wandering...

“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.”  
~Winne the Pooh, AA Milne

stay cool. 
have a safe journey & enjoy the ride.

:] laura

OH YEAH...REMINDER...i made a MISSPELLED SIGN page...up there
at the top...under the header. IF YOU HAVE A sign pic...email it to me with 
where it was taken...and i'll add it to the page with credit to YOU!

((i'm going to try and get on here and post again...SOON!
i have so many pictures i've taken around the yard lately...
snake, woodpecker, hawk, more assassin bugs, frog, butterflies, spider...
my camera is out of breath!))

p e a c e



  1. Great post. I hope to see you and sam at lochloosa soon. steve

  2. thanks steve! i don't know if anyone else will find this post...for some reason?? it didn't get picked up by google reader or network blogs??!

    so i just might have to resort to another 'glitch' post in order for it to be found! ha!

    yeah...would be nice to get away one weekend REAL soon and get over there...we....I...need it for sure!

    thanks for swinging by & leaving a note! :] laura

  3. your new post didn't show on my RSS feed either

  4. Thank you for the lovely mini-vacation I had while reading your post. The sequence of pictures made me feel like I was there with you in awe of nature.

    So glad you got a pic of the gopher tortoise. Last time I was South was over thirty years ago. Hope when I get there again there will be a gopher tortoise for me to see.

    So enjoy your naming the butterflies. I will take a closer look next time I see one in the woods whether though it looks like a moth but is really a buckeye butterfly.

    It is always a joy to wander with you.

  5. Hi Laura, thank you for giving me a heads up about your non-show post. There's been a few things happening and not-happening lately.

    Lovely opening with a dragonfly and butterfly :D)
    Really enjoyed reading the mis-spelled signs... the first was funny, but, for some reason the Turnups just got to me and I had a huge LOL! When MD asked me what was up and I told him, he did the same! Oh I do babble on, but just wanted you to know that thousands of miles away you're giving us two a good old chuckle :) Will contribute any we find over here.

    What a fine old bridge it is. Love structures like that, such a lot of history attached no doubt.
    The water is very low in parts. Beaut shots of the river. How amazing to find the fossilised shells and coral too.

    Good on Sam and his u-eys... MD knows the feeling only too well too. Just gotta get that shot!
    Loved seeing the turtle and tortoise too. Many thanks, for another charming and entertaining post Laura :D)

  6. thanks guys!!
    things are getting weirder by the minute...i tried to publish a GLITCHY post...oh, like 4 times...and it wouldn't go into the feeds either.

    finally...i did the whole glitchy post over...with NO pictures and it went through...and when it did...it picked up the suwannee post along with it!

    any computer freaks out there can explain this to me??

    thanks joanne, crayzys and susan!!
    it's good to see some smiling faces! :]

  7. Hi Laura,

    Thanks for the lovely post. It was a nice walk through nature, with all the wonderful things to see and enjoy. I love the longhorn, he looks so regal! Dragonflies are so cool, with their iridescent glow.

  8. Great posts. Okay...the signs. Since they are homemade, they are kind of heartwarming to me...
    Love all the stuff you picked up-I love, love petrified wood. How cool that the water was down and you were able to explore like that! Nice.
    Also, very, very cool to see the tortoise.
    Glad you got a refresher and hope the rest of your week is great!

  9. Hi Laura i had wondered where you had got to ...lucky you did TURNUP in the end !!.......enjoyed the exploring way down the river ....A while ago Jan from laughing dog blog( actually I'm thinking maybe it wasn't Jan ...will look it up) found what may have been stone spindle whorls in a river ....that dragonfly is glorious ...I am having a dragonfly incorporated into the tattoo I am having as they are significant symbols in my life ....
    Have a good week ...xx

  10. Holy horny cattle!!! Love the dragonfly on the shovel handle! And speaking of "Deliverance"...did I tell you that I want to learn to play the banjo JUST so I can learn that song?!?!?! I think I've been breathing weed killer residue...:)JP

  11. As soon as I read your title, I started singing that song! It's gonna be there all day!

    Wish I could be tech-ish helpful, but I wouldn't even know if my blog didn't show up in a reader to begin with!

  12. A beautiful and colorful series of photos.

  13. Great series of shots..especially love the dragonfly.

  14. Yes, you showed up on my dashboard reading list, but I haven't looked on my sidebar yet. Along with your "maybe" post which I will get to. Loove, Louve the signs! Unreal! And all of your river pics. You know, I buy Coreopsis and plant it with blue Salvia. They go and grow good together (the blue and yellow is great together). And they do come back for a few years. I like to cut them and bring them in. I had some double Coreopsis for a few years. I didn't know it was the Florida flower. They're one of my favorites and easy to take care of.

    Will come back to look at your rocks more.

    So good to see you back Laura!

  15. Awesome shots. The bridge shots, the riverbed shots and that coral rock are my favorites. I know what you mean about exploring all day but there are bills to pay. I feel the same way.

  16. FOUND YOU...here I am at last and so thrilled to have been part of this wonderful adventure...you're my kind of person, Laura...you enjoy a lot of the things I do (I've never personally collected bones, although my husband has on occasion, and I used to think it a little creepy to be honest...he has a couple of 'real beauts' that I 'allowed' him to keep...understand, this was before I'd met you and learned to see so many other things with new eyes...bones and poop being two of them ;)

    I can think of few things to equal the absolute pleasure of spending a whole day outdoors, idly exploring for simple treasures (pieces of wood, stone etc). Hours and hours pass by me without my even noticing the day disappearing and it's always an anticlimax when it's time to pack up and go home!

    I love the woodwork of that old bridge! My husband would be completely enthralled by something like that. He loves photographing old bridges.

    Once again, a super outing...thank you for allowing us to peer and gaze, closely, to our heart's desire. I love the piece of aged green coral you found and recognise the awed feeling you get from it.

    As always, your pictures are amazing!

    Had a good chuckle at the misspelt signs and how quaintly righteous you become when you spot them. I swear there's a gremlin sign painter out there ensuring you're happily supplied with regular material :)

  17. Great post! When I was a kid "up north" and learned that song, I thought they were talking about a "swan-y" river & wondered why no swans were mentioned in the song. Great fun to see your pics of it. Interesting, tho, how it's running low and up here (WA state) all the rivers run really HIGH this time of year due to the runoff from the mountains. If the rocks are limestone, guess that means that all of that area was under the sea sometime long ago... That longhorn DOES look like it belongs in Texas, but the Gopher tortoise was a real find - what a privilege to see one. By the way, I had no trouble at all finding your post & I looked at it right after you entered it, but just now got back to commenting. Weird...Have a great weekend!

  18. Thanks everyone...not only for passing through...maybe getting your feet wet...maybe saying MOOOooooo outloud when you spotted the longhorns...
    BUT also...thanks for leaving a note!
    THIS part of the suwannee is LOW right now...i don't know why...but other parts of the river are NOT that low! weird!

    anyway...if you're reading this...have a wonderful weekend...relax...enjoy...i know i will...cause we're going camping! no phone. no internet! yay! :] laura

  19. It showed up in my feed, I'm just behind on commenting. Giggling over the Turnup sign. :) Love the collection of the little stones. So pretty!

  20. thanks for swinging by...kateri...and anyone else who happened to pass through this space.

    yes, this post showed up in the FEEDS only after i published the GLITCHY AGAIN post...only THEN was it picked up by the FEEDS...BOTH posts together! VERY weird!
    oh well...at least i'm out there! :] lk


thanks for stopping by! it's always nice to hear from fellow wanderers!