Ichetucknee 1

It’s quiet now, missing the laughter and squealing with the cool spring water. Serene, peaceful, where are the people?

Crystal clear headwaters at Ichetucknee Springs begin at the north entrance and flow southward.
Spring water bubbles up and flows downstream for all to enjoy.

It was a warm pre-spring day with a slight haze from clouds. We ponder, and imagine, that soon the echoes erupt through the oaks; ripples with the splash of the crystal clear flow. It will soon be Ichetucknee’s prime time.

Ichetucknee – Indian word meaning “beaver pond” and is one of Florida’s 33 first-magnitude springs. (Wikipedia) The springs are located close to High Springs, Florida.

To me, prime time is whenever I can be there, taking in the beauty around. I enjoyed the quietness and stillness without all the laughter and splashing – because it was a good picture day – even though vegetation was still dormant.

The soft flow of the springs allows a slight splash now and then but their flow is without effort, abiding within natural barriers. A leaf falls from the tree and you could almost hear it land in the woods, or softly touch the smooth, clear water.

This is a beautiful place. Observe with me the beauty even in the after-affects of winter.

Egrets and turtles continue their daily routine regardless of coolness or warmth.

Soon, the people will arrive, the green abounds and the sun bakes. The springs refresh. Below is a nice video from Trips to Discover.

Blessings along the Way!

Ron


Salt Springs provides relief from Florida’s hot, humid days

Salt Springs provides relief from Florida’s hot, humid days

 

One would think that a natural recreation area named Salt Springs would be like taking a bath in salty water, right?

Well, not quite.  Although there is an elevated level of salinity in the natural spring of water.

Salt Springs
Spring flows from deep in the earth.

The spring flows from cracks deep within the earth and combines potassium, magnesium and sodium salts.  Hence the name Salt Springs.

Spring water is typically colder than other Florida bodies of water and it sure is refreshing from the hot, humid days of summer.  It’s sort of a shock at first though when you step in the cooler waters.

Salt Springs
Vegetation and fish enjoy the benefits of Salt Springs.

Actually, I like the water to be a litter warmer but it’s hard to beat the crystal clear, fresh water flowing from the earth.

Salt Springs is a federal recreation site within the Ocala National Forest, about 35 miles east of Ocala, Florida.  It’s also not very far from the huge Lake George where there is plenty of fishing and boating activity.
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Picnic areas surround the spring
Picnic areas surround the spring

On a typical day of walking through the spring’s picnic area one can experience the enticing aroma of burgers being grilled and the laughter of children splashing around in the water.  Its quite relaxing just walking around or sitting under one of the oak tree canopies.

Just focusing on the hues of water and feeling the gentle breeze eases the mind and helps you drift off into a peaceful abode.

Boaters anchor to enjoy the springs
Boaters anchor to enjoy the springs

Boaters are often seen at the lake entrance to the springs where they anchor and the occupants wade in the water or simply float around.  Some snorkel and can experience a feeling like they’re swimming with the fish also enjoying the pristine waters.

Salt Springs has various accommodations that include camping and hiking.  Here is the website for more information.  http://www.recreation.gov/camping/salt-springs-recreation-area/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=73853.

And, of course while in Florida we must be aware of the natural inhabitants as well.  I call itDSC_4205 good situation awareness as we coexist with creation.

Just driving to and from the springs is a nice ride through the Ocala Forest which spans four Florida counties and has around 383,000 acres.  According to the website the Ocala National Forest is the “southernmost and oldest national forest east of the Mississippi River, and protects the world’s largest, contiguous sand pine scrub forest.”

So – try a little Florida sunshine and absorb some of the natural minerals from Salt Springs.  It’s not very far from where Ponce de Leon thought he located the fountain of youth.  Just maybe he had the right idea, although some may say he wasn’t aware of the “fountain of youth” and it was attributed to him following his death.   http://www.biography.com/people/juan-ponce-de-le%C3%B3n-9444105#hispaniola-and-puerto-rico