Last weekend we visited Astor, Florida along the St. John's River. A beautiful place for boating, but it's a small quiet town otherwise. We stayed at Castaway's on the River just south of the bridge (Highway 40). Nice room, pet friendly with a place to keep the boat in the water. We set out from this location, heading north on the river towards Silver Glen (a very popular spring off Lake George). Jimbo found the cabin area very comfortable (in case you were wondering if he came along).
Using GPS coordinates and the 'map' feature of Lightroom, you can see our journey based on the pictures taken (orange icons on the map). If you look at the map closely, you can see we took a detour off the main portion of the river on Blue Creek to view the wildlife and scenery.
We saw a good amount of wildlife - turtles were everywhere sunning themselves as we started our journey mid-morning. This turtle had the log to himself as he enjoyed the sunshine (it was a beautiful day!).
These turtles were stacked along the log, no vacancy here, they left a little space between them if they were facing each other, but if facing the same way, they were very close to each other.
We saw a lot of ospreys, they were busy and nests were everywhere. Just about every marker along the water had a nest. In this nest you can see the head of the young osprey under the adult bird. This nest was on top of one of the water way signs.
The alligators were there too. They were not as plentiful (in viewing) as the turtles, but this one was swimming along and looked about 10 feet long.
The waterway was beautiful, the skies were clear blue and the water was calm - all making for a fun day on the water.
Osprey nest was on top of a marker near the entrance to Lake George.
Now we begin to approach the entrance to Lake George. This is the second largest lake in Florida and is rather shallow (10 feet is common, but in many places it is shallower). For those curious, Lake Okeechobee is the largest lake in Florida. The channel from the St. John's River to Lake George is marked with these 'bunkers'. All the boat traffic should flow through these - a few people were fishing in this area.
Here's a map showing our destination across a portion of Lake George over to the Silver Glen Springs. The orange icons with 3 and 4 indicate where the Silver Glen spring is located. (For the curious, the number indicates how many pictures were taken at a given location).
This particular structure is sitting in the water near the 'bunkers'. The purpose is not known, but I assume the water is real shallow there and the birds use this structure.
Our journey ended at the Blackwater Inn (next to Castaway's on the River). Blackwater Inn is a restaurant on the bottom floor of this building. Williams Landing is a restaurant/bar on the second floor of this building. This is the view from the St. John's River.
Until next time...