There's a lot of evidence of earlier logging days at this one point along the river. The bottom is littered with a jumble of squared timbers and this square nail and spike were hidden just beneath the sands. A little vigorous fanning with my hand uncovered them.
I cropped the above photo of one of the squared timbers so you could see the cool brown tubes that some aquatic insect larvae have built atop it. Not being a bugnerd, I don't know who did this ... maybe a caddisfly, stonefly or a relative? You might need to click on the pic to get a better view of the tubes.
Here are those trestle pilings I keep mentioning. You can actually navigate through them, even though it doesn't look like it in this photo. It's a little tricky to do in a 16 foot canoe, but not a big deal.
As I mentioned earlier, I spent a lot of time out of the canoe, wading, and snooping around for fossils. On this particular day, I didn't travel far enough downstream (weather was turning ominous) to get to the better areas, but I did pull up a few tortoise shell fossil bits. Nothing worth keeping though.
The general procedure is to use your hands to fan a depression in the sand, let the current sweep the cloudy water away, then examine the depression for "treasures".
I'm embarrassed to say how much time I can blissfully spend doing that.
There seemed to be two species.
I am a bit of a mollusc nerd, but alas, I'm more proficient at marine molluscs so these two freshwater plankton slurpers remain officially unidentified.
With my attention focused on the sandy bottom, I failed to notice the gathering storm clouds until a booming roll of thunder got my attention. Just as well, immediately in front of me were multiple portages and the weather was saying I might go to all that clambering trouble, just to have to turn around and do it over.
In fact, the tree tops were already doing the downdraft sway and the thunder was more insistent, so reluctantly, I turned around and paddled back upstream. The idea of paddling through a swamp of tall trees as lightning blasted around me was not very appealing.
Been there done that.
Remember the Oklawaha trip, Kevin?
In Florida, our streams flow so gently, (in a relaxed southern manner)that we can paddle upstream against the current with only a little effort. I made pretty good time and in a little while I was back at the bridge where I had put in to the river.
Waiting for me in his patrol truck, was a game warden. He watched from the truck while I unloaded my gear. I was glad I had brought the life jacket even though it's pretty ridiculous on a tiny stream like the Waccasassa. It is the law and I knew if I left it at home I'd run into an officer. As it turned out, I did anyway.
He got out of his truck and came over to check me out.
"I figured this weather would bring you back" he said. He eyed the ultralight fishing rod in the canoe, "Any luck?"
I told him (honestly) that I had tossed a line a few times, but with no takers.
We talked for a while until the rain drops began to fall and it was time to go. I finished tying the canoe to my trailer, hopped in the JEEP, and drove home in a drenching rain which ended about a half mile from my parched homestead.
Just another day in Pure Florida.