This weekend I took advantage of my free time by visiting Wekiwa Springs State Park.
I spent the first half of the day hiking through the parks many trails. It was a hot day, very characteristic for central Florida, but the dense growth of subtropical foliage provided plenty of shade. There were also many mosquitos, also characteristic of central Florida.
I encountered many golden orb weaver spiders on the trail. Most of them were off in the trees, but a few of them built their webs right over the trail–usually at eye level, so constant vigilance was necessary to avoid an unfortunate collision. I was able to take advantage of the opportunity and snap a couple of decent pictures of the beautiful arachnids
Halfway into the hike I came across what I thought was a cottonmouth snake. He startled me when he shot across the trail. It He stopped a little ways out, and I took the opportunity to snap some pictures from a respectful distance before he slithered off into the foliage. I had my friend Chloe give me a positive ID on the snake, and she confirmed it was most likely a cottonmouth.
Surprisingly, I still haven’t spotted any alligators yet. I may need to make a trip to the Everglades!
After my hike I visited the freshwater springs to cool off. It was a lot busier than I anticipated, especially compared to the other parts of the park. It was more like a day at the beach– families were all over the place with beach chairs, coolers, grills, the works. I was eventually able to find a spot to don my snorkel gear and get in the water. There wasn’t a lot to see, as all the people Topside at Wekiwa Springs kept the wildlife away, but there were a few interesting sites, like the 10 foot crevice that swimmers were taking turns diving into.
Most of the swimmers were attempting to descend feet first—using their arms to push themselves down. I decided to show them how its done, using my fins and proper diving technique I easily reached the bottom. There wasn’t much to see besides the rock walls, but it was a neat experience to be able to reach into the breach, I felt like a fish hiding under a rock. Without Scuba gear it was easy to look around the bottom. Of course, coming up was a little bit more difficult because I had to watch out for all of the people gathered above!
After a successful outing at Wekiwa Springs, I decided to call it day.