Saturday, March 26, 2016

Quilt 45

This one is for my son-in-law.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Quilts 43 & 44

I was starting to get together quilts and labels for the show in May and discovered that there are two quilts I never posted online.  I made this one in December 2013 when we were living at camp and had no Christmas decorations to hang.

I did the paper piecing of this one over the past summer and finished it with fabric from my stash once we got back to NJ in the fall.  It is another Silver Linings Original.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Florida Trip Days 17 and 18

Yesterday's final paddle was a short 5 miles on the Juniper River.  Then we had to pack in order to leave first thing this morning.  We are spending the night at the Fairfield Inn in Bristol, TN.  Then home to NJ tomorrow.  Because we didn't want to drive either direction on the I-95 corridor between Philly and DC, we have driven through 12 states on this trip: NJ, DE, VA, NC, SC, GA, FL, AL, TN, WV, MD, PA.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Florida Trip Day 16

Today we paddled a 12.5 mile stretch of the Blackwater River, not to be confused with the Blackwater Creek which we paddled last week.  The river is a larger version of the one we paddled yesterday with not as tight curves, not as fast current, and fewer obstacles.  It was a great paddle even though the weather was cloudy, and especially since it poured at the cabin while we had just a sprinkle of rain on the river.

A sand bar makes a great place to haul out for lunch.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Florida Day 15

We had a great paddle today.  We went 11 miles on the narrow, winding, fast-moving East Coldwater River.  I don't have photos because there wasn't time to take them.  All my energy was focused on heading down the river in the fast current and avoiding obstacles of which there were quite a few.  But it was great fun.  The scenery was very different from our other paddles, with white sandy banks and lots of lodgepole pines on the shore.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Florida Trip Day 14

Today was the day to move from the Sweet Magnolia Inn in St Marks, Florida, to Adventures Unlimited near Milton.  We had over a 3 hour drive.  Along the way we did a short (about 4 miles) paddle on Spring Creek flowing into the Chipola River.  This is a view from our lunch spot.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Florida Trip Day 13

We had another busy day today with gorgeous weather.  We drove to a put-in on the Wakulla River, just south of the state park border.

We paddled about 4 miles downriver and saw pretty much the same birds as we have been seeing, but it was still a very nice paddle.
Then we loaded up the boats and drove upriver to Wakulla Springs State Park.

We had a picnic lunch then took a boat ride around the spring.

We saw some manatees and LOTS of alligators.  I have a feeling we have been paddling past lots of them without seeing them.  We also confirmed that the small ducks we have been seeing are buffleheads and pied bill grebes.  And we saw hooded mergansers, which we hadn't seen before on this trip, and a wood stork.  Then there were the usual herons, egrets, ibis, osprey, vultures, etc.  After the boat ride we took a walk through the woods.  Then we had an excellent dinner at the lodge in the park.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Florida Trip Days 11 and 12

Yesterday we drove from Steinhatchee to St Marks, Florida to meet our tour group.  Today we did the first paddle, on the Wacissa River.  It is another spring-fed river with the usual sites.  We put in at the head of the river

and it quickly got larger as the springs flowed in.

It was a nice paddle but we had heavy head winds in spots.  So it was not the gentle float we expected it to be.  We paddled a bit over 11 miles.
We saw a few alligators, including this one sunning on its own personal raft in the middle of the stream.

We saw lots of birds, including a large flock of ibis that landed in trees near the shore.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Florida Trip Day 10

We had planned to paddle part of the Santa Fe River today.  But that involved another 1 1/2 hour drive each way, so we were lazy and paddled here on the Steinhatchee instead.  We were going to put in at the public docks and paddle down toward the Gulf, but the parking lot was completely full of trucks with big boat trailers.  We decided we didn't want to be with all those big boats, so we put in here at Steinhatchee Landing instead.  We paddled upstream and explored some side channels as well.  We did about 6 miles round trip and were glad we didn't go further because the wind was really strong the last half of our return paddle.  We didn't see many birds - just pelicans and cormorants.  But it was a pleasant paddle.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Florida Trip Day 9

We finally paddled today, driving nearly 1 1/2 hours to Ichetucknee Springs State Park.

We put the boats in near the head spring and floated down past the midpoint launch.  We only went about 2 miles downstream because we were concerned about paddling upstream against the heavy flow.  It turned out not to be a problem, so we probably could have gone the full 3 miles downstream. The day was gray and cool and that probably contributed to the fact that we didn't think much of the paddle.

It was not nearly as neat as the Silver River.  We did manage to see several great egrets, great blue herons, and one manatee which we got closer to than we should have.  It was just sitting on the bottom and I thought it was a sand bar at first.  And we saw one roseate spoonbill, which made my day.  I didn't think we would see any on this trip.  This is not a very good photo of the bird sitting with its bill under its wing.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Florida Trip Day 8

We decided not to try to paddle today.  We got an email that our cottage at Steinhatchee Landing Resort was ready for us before the usual check in time, so we packed up and drove to Steinhatchee.  We explored the resort a bit when we got there, then did several loads of wash and relaxed.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Florida Trip Day 7

I was disappointed to not paddle today either, but W is still not feeling well.  I was reluctant to go kayaking by myself; too many tales of manatees flipping boats.  So I went on a boat tour just so I could get out on the water.  There were lots of pelicans around, since a fishing boat had just come in.

The boat tour was nothing special but we did see some manatees.  It is starting to warm up so they are leaving the springs.

I had forgotten how built up it is along the river here.  I had hoped to paddle to the Halls River, which I remember as being neat with lots of springs.  But the beginning of the paddle wouldn't be very nice, so I guess we won't be coming back here again.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Florida Trip Day 6

W was not feeling well today so we didn’t paddle.  I relaxed and took photos of the “wild” birds hanging around the docks and the lawn in front of our unit at the Riverside Resort.  This great blue heron spent most of the day claiming this boat.

This one caught a fish that seemed too large for it to handle.

There are lots of pelicans around, especially when a fishing boat shows up.

And this great egret spent quite a while wandering the lawn in front of the unit.  I wonder if it expects to be fed.