Thursday, September 29, 2011

by the suwannee & withlacoochee...

 partly cloudy. most of the 4 days, 3 nights.
some rain, but not 'til the evening. hot & humid.
weather that makes you sweat just stepping outside...
but we hiked the trails anyway!
milo was the smart one...she kicked back in the camper...staying cool. :)
this is NOT a short & to the point posting.
i hope you make it to the end...

the Suwannee River State Park in Live Oak, Florida
is on the location of a booming mill town named Columbus, back in the 1800's. 
one of the first mill towns in florida, located where the Suwannee and Withlacoochee
rivers meet.  when the pine became depleted, the sawmill was
purchased by florida's 12th Governor, George Drew. the town of Columbus,
including the sawmill, packed up and moved across the Ellaville.
old sawmill parts
The Suwannee originates within the Okefenokee Swamp in SE Georgia and
travels nearly 230 miles where it empties into the Gulf of Mexico.

'Suwannee' is an Indian (possibly Apalachee Creek Indians) word meaning
'black water' or 'dark & muddy in the sun'.    
'Withlacoochee' means 'little great water'.

there are numerous trails in the park. we hiked them all.
one trail leads to a small cemetery...headstones dating late 1800's to early 1900's.

some of the trails interconnect and follow the Suwannee for a while...
cypress knees along the shore

limestone outcroppings...
 limestone rock lies beneath the surface throughout much of florida. 
these rocks were formed over 20 million years ago when sea levels were much higher. 
limestone contains many fossils of ancient sea animals, clams, urchins and
microscopic organisms.

walking along the shoreline...reflections of the sky on the water...

turtles...'cooters'...basking in the sun...

plants and a lizard...on the sandy shore...

high above the water...jutting out over the edge is 'Balance Rock'...

Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.  
~Henry David Thoreau

we hiked the few connecting trails that wind through the woods...
Turkey Oaks, Long Leaf Pines, Southern Red Cedar & Sweet Gum trees...
wildflowers...butterflies, lizards, spiders...and of course, lichen...mushrooms...
Five-lined skink
skink scat
Phaon Crescent
damaged tree with lightning strike running straight down the trunk
Golden Silk Orb Weaver

a battered Hackberry butterfly landed on sam's back...
obviously needing to hitch a rest those weary wings...
(what was left of them!)    :(
she hiked with us for a long time...then flew onto sam's hand...

...this is turning into...a BOOK...maybe i should split it into 2 posts...
nah...let's keep going...we don't have too much farther to go...

on the handrail of one of the little wooden bridges...
hmmm...i thought this might be a bat...but i'm told it's probably a squirrel.
does anyone know for sure? know anyone who would know?

reaching the old Ellaville bridge...foot traffic only...
looking down into the shallow water...TURTLES!
a cooter
young cooters
a soft shell turtle

OK!!!!!  time to head back to the campground...

deer print

 where milo awaits...

Dotted Horsemint

"wake up milo!!"


time to go out...

and stretch...

and watch the squirrels play!

wow. we're back home. tired?
Weekends are a bit like rainbows; 
they look good from a distance but disappear when you get up close to them.  
~John Shirley

i mentioned in the post before the one milo did last time...
that i was going to show the 'possum bones i dug up...
but then we went camping...

so, next time...bones & other cool stuff...

have a safe journey...enjoy the ride...


  1. Hi Laura...I don't know where to start..and very interesting post for sure...
    Great history of the area, the grave yard the names of the area!!

    Loved the cloud refection. fossils mushroom just wonder photo's!!
    Lovely friend to the butterfly, real cute story!!

    Then there is Milo, what a guy ; }

    Love the squirrels !! ..Looks like one with two tails..cute : }}}}

    Have a good one ...

  2. Oh Laura what a fascinating trip that must have been! thanks for sharing photos along the way, it's almost as good as being there. I love hot and sticky...and highly sweating hubby not so much...born and raised in upper Minnesota boy and hasn't changed...Those cloud shots are priceless too, seems they were around way more when I grew up, and you always shoot just the cutest and most incredible bugs and other lovely creatures of any blog person I know! BRAVO!...Not to forget what an incredible cememtery that looks like, besides gods work around it, the tombstones and such them selves quite interesting! Not a long post by any means, thanks for sharing your trip and yes kitties must go out and stretch, silly kitty! (I have two that won't leave the house...but believe me they stretch!

  3. thanks for taking us along. loved all the reflection shots. glad you're back home for more regular posting! :)

  4. wow that was brilliant ..almost felt I was there with you .......xx

  5. A really beaut post. Sounds like you both got plenty of exercise and had a lovely getaway.
    Great photos as well. Those cloud reflections in the water - cool!
    Balance rock is a pretty spot too.
    Thanks for all the info about the State Park - I love the name Withlacoochee River :D)

  6. Thanks for sharing your trip. No such thing as too many photos for something like this. And I imagine I would also be more than willing to get all sweaty if it meant seeing all the stuff you saw.

    One question, though: Such "hikes" for me are usually very slow-paced, with many stops for photos. I'm lucky that my husband usually has his camera as well, and is almost as slow as I am. What is your hubby doing while you stop every 10 feet to take pictures of the next mushroom (or whatever)?

  7. Oh, I just love the turtles!!!

  8. Thanks for the great tour. We aren't getting to do much traveling these days, so I really enjoy your photos. Just the kind of trips I like to take and subjects I like to watch for. I usually get several trips down to Florida (especially the Panhandle) every year. I miss not getting to go. Thanks for taking me along.

  9. THANKS EVERYBODY for hiking through the woods...and following the river for a ways...and for enjoying the sights!!

    TURTLES!! of my favorites!!

    milo is a girl. i know, she has a boy name i guess...she's a little tomboy...tomcat? tomkitty?

    cindy, i sent you an email...but if anyone else is wondering the same thing...sam's great! he usually points stuff out that i might have missed...and he doesn't mind at all when we stop every few feet for a shot...or two...or more...for a EVERY possible angle! haha!!

    thanks again...and i will get caught up with MY reading this weekend!! seeya there!! lk

  10. Wow! I'm glad it was you out in the sweaty weather...and you had your trusty camera. I could look at your pictures all day! But this Minnesota girl melts in the heat--LOL!

    We called those turtles "sliders" when I was a kid. Love the turtles, the hitchhiking butterfly, the bones, the flowers, the fungi, the clouds reflecting in the still water, Milo...every bit of it. I am always intrigued and fascinated by your posts. If you had a hundred more pictures I would have been examining every one! :):)

  11. beautiful! Love seeing nature through your lens

  12. so much to see here, but the cypress knees are what grabbed my attention
    simply amazing
    who knew trees had knees

  13. Looks like the skink pooped a marshmallow! ;0)

  14. Man! Did you do this in shifts? This is my second walkthrough. And Milo is a girl? Cool!

    The old cemetary is really neat. It's fun to walk thru and look at the old headstones. It makes you wonder what the people looked like, and what they were like. You got some good pics there.

    And your river photos with the reflections (you get the best reflections)! The cypress and fossils really present an unknown world to some of us (me). I know they exist, but have never seen such sights. The water looks so clear, you can see the turtles under water? What a sight the plant life is! Not the usual 'prickly pear and pencil cactus' we see!

    This is amazing Laura, and I like the twins at the top of your sidebar, haha!

    Milo 'RULES'!

  15. Laura, you have the BEST posts! I learn so much about the beautiful places you live in and visit, and I see so much through your perceptive eyes.

    Thank you!

  16. Well, that was an amazing hike through the woods. So many neat things to be seen. I love the little old cemetary with all the neat old headstones!

  17. thanks again...everyone who stopped by & left a note...

    rita, i melt in the heat too...sometimes i wonder why i stayed in gets too hot for s sweater like me! yes, sliders...cooters...i THINK they're the same!
    lindsey...thanks for wandering.... :)
    kel, the cypress have knees...and there are so many different shapes and sizes...the water is so low right now that it looks kind of strange having the knees sticking so far out of the river!
    tumbleweed...yeah, a marshmallow...ha! i don't think i'll toast that one!
    susan, yes ,milo's a girl!! and yeah, the old cemetery...pretty cool to look at the old headstones...and right there, in the middle of the park...
    alexia and kateri...thanks... :)

    glad you all enjoyed your wander along the river and through the woods....

    happy friday!! xxxooolk

  18. LOL!!! You did make a book and I love each chapter...:)JP

  19. Wonderful post - glad I came along... I see no one offered answers to the skeleton question. I can't tell from the picture, but it looks like the bones from more than one animal? Having a skull would sure help! Sort of looks like 2 tails, also. Please let us know when YOU find out!


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