Tag Archives: silver springs state park

A Much Needed Walk in the Woods

Took a much needed walk in the woods today. Since I quit fishing I don’t get out for long walks through woods and down creeks. I’m woefully out of shape.

During the winter and early spring I don’t think twice about blundering through the woods that you see at the top. A few feet in reminded me of the stinging nettles that are mixed in with the ever thickening undergrowth. From the knees down my legs quickly felt like they were on fire.

I stuck with the paths this time, for the most part.

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The sun cooperated a bit and the new growth this time of year has an intensity that quickly wanes come June.

A feast for the eyes.

If you like lots of green.

In 2015 I only took about 6,000 photo’s

In 2015 I only took about 6,000 photo’s, give or take a few. Which probably explains why I don’t have time to go back and play with them much.

Decided to start a project today. Went back to June 10, 2015 and a sunset storm I shot out at Silver Springs State Park that had some of the most amazing clouds I’ve ever seen. Took 209 shots that day.

I’ve set aside 6 single shots to play with, will probably go back for more. Also set aside 25 sets of 2 or 3 shots to make into panorama’s.

Picked out one of the simpler pano’s to start with. I try to keep the processing to a minimum and do my best to make it look like what I thought I saw. Then I turn it to black and white and make adjustments to that to make it have the same feel as the color shot.

We’ll see how this goes. Took a half hour to make the pano and get the colors the way I want. Took 7 minutes to turn it to black and white.

I need to retire and just play around. For just these 31 final images let’s say I spend an hour on each. It will take about 31 hours to finish this one little project. With a full time job eating up a good 12 hours a day, this could take some time.

That leaves me about 5,950 photos to go through and play with from last year alone. A rough estimate dating back to the year 2000 when I went digital shows I have about 25,000 more in my collection. Let’s say that only 5 percent may be worth playing with. That means I should be able to whittle it down to about 1,500 images to play with.

What am I getting myself into.

From here on I’m going to figure out how to make posts and galleries on my website for these. Might be a challenge. This site is reminiscent of the forums I’ve been leaving stories and pictures on for nearly 20 years. Takes no real effort on my part to put things here, it’s second nature.

For nearly five years I’ve had my eye on a paid theme called Photocrati that would work perfectly. That also shows how long I’ve been toying with the idea of making a switch like this. Each passing year has shown that my fishing stories keep getting shorter and the emphasis has been put on the images. I’ve always been image heavy, but now the images have a lot less to do with fish and fishing and the words keep getting fewer.

Well, I won’t fish again till the smallies start heading up the creeks some time in March. Which means I have some time on my hands till then.

But still, the thought nags…

What am I getting myself into.

Spring Creek Skunk Cabbage

I don’t know why they call this Duck Creek. A duck would have to be a fool to go that far back into the woods.

As for moderate, that’s if you stay on the trail. I don’t know how to stay on trails.

Was going to make this a long post with pictures from last week and today to compare and contrast, but that would take too long and I’m tired.

Last week I stood on a high ridge overlooking a pretty little spring creek. Toyed with the idea of going down to the creek, but the woods were still filled with snow and I didn’t relish sliding down the hill on my ass.

This week I took a different route in.

Same high bluff, different location, all the snow for as far as could be seen was gone.

I thought it would be a good idea to follow a deer path down to the bottom.

Deer always take the path of least resistance.

Half way down the hill there were deer skid marks. I had a flash of wishing I had gone down the hill last week. Snow, mud, I’ll take snow.

Luckily there were strategically placed saplings all the way down the hill. I assume I looked like George of the Jungle swinging my way down. Gravity didn’t win this one and I made it to the bottom still standing.

Was worth the trip.

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When I got to the bottomlands I began to see things poking their way out of the ground. Green things, but they were mostly a beautiful deep burgundy. They were everywhere, skunk cabbage.

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I then remembered where I normally see skunk cabbage. Bottomlands, wetlands, flood plain, call it what you will, but it’s a swamp.

I did my best to tip toe around all the emerging skunk cabbage so I wouldn’t crush any of them. Try tip toeing through a muddy swamp. It doesn’t go well when from your toe to past your ankles you’re stuck in mud.

Walking in the spring creek took care of that.

Got to the mouth of the creek where it enters the river. Turned to head out and there it was, the high bluff I stood on the previous week to survey where I now stood.

I decided to skip following the deer paths and blaze my own trail up the slope.

Walking and Waiting for a Sunset

With air temps hovering around 30 degrees on Sunday, meteorological spring, I decided that was good enough to go walking and waiting for a sunset. Anything colder than that, which we had for almost all of February, has become extremely disagreeable to my bones.

Plus, I needed the exercise.

The hourly forecast said the skies would vary between cloudy and mostly cloudy. I read mostly cloudy as partly sunny, so that little bit of sun through clouds can make for some outstanding sunset colors. Or a well lighted, thick gray mass. You don’t know till the sun sets.

I was surprised to see the amount of cars parked around Silver Springs State Park and on the trails, all the fresh foot prints. Partly sunny barely warm days will bring people out.

One of the plans was to gather up some watercress to take home. I seem to be on a salad binge lately, but this time of year requires a lot of store bought ingredients, which are fine, but I can taste the difference between store bought and home grown.

The spring looked to be in pretty good shape.

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The watercress looked good, not quite fully grown out as it does during warmer weather, but a quick taste test proved the leaves were a little more bitter than how they taste the rest of the year. Springs around the corner, I can wait a couple more weeks or so.

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This spring is also a magnet for wildlife, but I didn’t expect to see much because of the amount of people wandering around. I toyed with the idea of hunkering down here and waiting out the sunset and the arrival of the critters.

Maybe next time.

All in one spot, the tracks of deer, coons, squirrels, birds, rodents and coyotes.

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I’m not much of a birder, I’d rather just watch them then go through the trouble of categorizing and identifying them, but if the opportunity to get off a shot presents itself, I’ll take it.

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I tried to find some details worth shooting…

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But I didn’t seem to be getting all that inspired.

So I looked for some nature made sculpture…

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Not much of that around to inspire me either, so I simply went wandering through the woods.

The sky was shaping up to be a perfect sunset sky. As long as it didn’t revert to cloudy and stayed partly sunny, there was hope.

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I hiked some more, waiting out the sunset only the clouds didn’t cooperate.

The meteorologists were wrong again.

Instead of waffling between cloudy and partly sunny, a north wind kicked up and blew all the clouds away.

Nothing but blue skies.

The extra sunlight was causing a slight fog to come off the snow cover.

I already knew how this was going to turn out. The sunset would still be beautiful as all are, but without the clouds, this one would be a bright orange glow along the horizon that blended into the bright blue of the sky.

I decided to watch this one in my rear view mirror as I drove home.

There was a Point to This

There was a point to this, all these pictures, but I’ll be damned if I can remember any more.

When I head out fishing, taking pictures is somewhere in the back of my mind, but they happen hopefully between catching fish. Or maybe of the fish if the fish is picture worthy.

When I head out wandering around with my camera, the point is to take pictures. Sometimes that’s a failure and I’m totally uninspired.

Usually I wander around with a running dialogue in my head that gets filled in by pictures. Or maybe the pictures start the running dialogue. Or some combination of both.

This goes back to my painting days 30 odd years ago when I would write on my paintings. A little description or dialogue I guess that I thought went well with the painting.

The problem with walking around taking pictures and having a running dialogue going is that I tend not to retain words very well. It all sounds so good while I’m out wandering around, but by the time I get home and find the time to sit down and do anything with all the pictures, I’ve pretty much forgotten all the words.

Sometimes I can’t remember what I had planned on doing with the pictures.

If I find the time to do something with words or pictures within 24 hours, things seem to go okay. Last week within 24 hours I put together the panorama shots I had intended and put up a post. The other 130 or so pictures sat and languished all week. I had already gone through and picked the ones I wanted to use, no doubt these had words associated with them last week, but this week, I got nuthin’.

Nothing but the pictures.

Best I can come up with for words is that it was sunny out on a weekend, which is rare.

Temperatures were tolerable.

The sunset was better than I expected.

That pretty much sums it up.