New Adventures in Florida

October 03, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

This past weekend, my husband planned a few fun excursions for us to do locally. 

Saturday was Carson Springs Wildlife Sanctuary (CSWCF), "a conservation and educational facility that rescues exotic animals in need. Sitting on 275 acres of lush Florida woods and farm land, it is home to approximately 30 rare and endangered species and over 100 animals.  CSWCF is a 5013c nonprofit registered in the State of Fl ( #CH36249), licensed by USDA, Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, Alachua County and ZAA accredited facility. It has never had a citing or violation."

It was their annual open house and we spent a few hours roaming around viewing the animals and learning a little about them, observing feedings and interactions. At one point, a volunteer even had one of the big cats up at the fence purring for us, and it was a loud and lovely sound!
 

Click on the photos to see more in the gallery.

TigerTiger TigerTiger WarthogWarthog HyenaHyena

The following day we headed up north to Ichetucknee Springs Blue Hole for some SCUBA Diving in the cavern of one of the headsprings. This is one of our favorite spots because it typically is not as crowded due to its more remote location; however, this day it held more visitors than normal. No matter though because where we hang out, few dare to venture. Its a crystal clear spring with a dreamy blue color, and a small crevice opening into a cavern system below where the springs strongly force their water through, contributing to the 233 million gallons of spring water Ichetucknee feeds into the Santa Fe River. Once we make it through that crevice past the force of the surge and drop 45 feet to the bottom, we are able to peacefully explore more of the beauty and depths of the cavern system, all while keeping a careful and watchful eye on the opening above as it grows smaller and smaller. It is completely otherworldly down there! The way the water has worn away the limestone and tiny pockets of air being held, the darkness in the gradual light as we float along...it actually feels like we are on another planet. Nothing can match it.

Click on the photos to view more in the gallery.

(GoPro imagery shot by my wonderful husband, video shot by me and let me say, I am NOT an underwater photographer!)
Ichetucknee Springs-2Ichetucknee SpringsIn the Cavern of Ichetucknee Springs Blue Hole Ichetucknee SpringsThe crystal clear blue springs of Ichetucknee (Let it be known, I am no underwater photographer!!)

 

To end the day, we headed a little farther north to Live Oak to a spot Justin learned about, the Suwannee Springs Graffiti Bridge and Suwannee Springs Park. The bridge is a gem of a discovery I will have to revisit to photograph more as this was a quick stop at the end of our day, but a wonderful surprise it was! (Note to self, next time, bring spray paint). It was a hell of a windy day too which made me very apprehensive with flying the drone within the structure. I was able to get three good enough images for posterity sake though. I'll expound more on this work of art after a later visit and more photography. Who knows what might inspire me further there. Just down the riverbend are the remnants of Suwannee Springs, a sulpher spring where during the late 1800s, early Floridians would visit the Spring House (remnants in photo) to bath in the healing waters. 

Click on the photo to view more in the gallery.

Overhead Paited BridgeSuwannee Springs Graffiti BridgeAn aerial view of the Suwannee Springs Graffiti Bridge spanning the Suwannee River in Live Oak, FL.

 


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