Monday, January 4, 2016

The Aucilla River - the odds and ends

Twisted roots and jagged rocks line the Aucilla River above the Sinks.

"Key West or Bust" - Day 81

I wanted to make the most of today's hike along the upper section of the Aucilla River.  It would be my last piece of woods trail before a long road walk to the Suwanee River.  Fortunately the Aucilla cooperated.  I found plenty of 'stuff' to capture my interest.

'Stuff'? - miscellaneous oddments of a peculiar and unexpected nature.

Of course there were the picturesque river scenes.  This river has genuine white water rapids.  I sure didn't expect that.

It showed a spooky side.  In this scene the trees seemed to be conspiring to hypnotize me and lure me into the hidden depths.

But it also had its share of pure scenic beauty.

There weren't many big, impressive trees, but here where a tributary came tumbling into the river stood three cypresses with massive buttressed trunks.

Today, more than usual, I found myself appreciating the details - the little things and the side-shows - the odds and ends.  Examples:  a knothole adorned with moss and resurrection ferns

Delicate dancing mushrooms

And a fine example of the strict-branch coral fungus

Man had assigned this tree the task of marking the way, and it was wholeheartedly embracing its role.

This enormous live oak reminded me of 'home tree' from the Avatar movie

A study in nature's symmetry:

Those were the 'odds'.  Then I came to the 'end' - where the river disappears underground.  It was a bit of an anticlimax--just a stagnant place with a collection of trash and debris.

And not far beyond, the river made its first re-appearance in this picture-perfect bite-sized sink hole.

That was the start of the Aucilla Sinks section, most of which I had hiked yesterday and have already written about.

Next I have about 45 miles of road walking to do to get to the next riverside walk.  In between I'm going to be taking some time off for a visit with my family.  These posts are trickling out late because I'm doing them in spare moments during this busy time.

Below is a map of the upper Aucilla River hike, with links to more photos.

Aucilla River at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking near Tallahassee, Florida

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