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20 September 2010 @ 02:32 pm
finally a really quiet place  

On this Monday lunchtime I am about 0.7 miles south of Tedders on the east shore of Spring Garden Lake, the lake directly adjacent to Tedders, about 1.8 miles long north to south and about 0.4 miles wide. Spring Garden Run, which flows from the spring at the state park to the Saint Johns River is the northern edge of the lake and Tedders is at the northeast tip of the lake. Spring Garden Lake is surrounded by huge wildlife refuges on all sides except the east shore where I am now. It is usually too shallow for most boats except airboats. When I first rode into it on August 5th, it was too shallow even for my boat.

Today, and since about mid-August, it has been deep enough for me but not other non-air boats. I have been in a little bay full of water plants since yesterday. I am closely monitoring the nearest water depth gauge on the internet to make sure the level does not start gradually dropping, which will cause me to go back to Tedders. It is extremely beautiful here, and it is the first place I've moored where I really do have the whole place to myself. I only saw one other boat yesterday -a canoe with two men from Vermont rowing from and back to the state park. The winds each day have begun to pick up from the northeast in late morning and blow until about 5:30 PM. This is normal for this season, but this little bay is a refuge from these winds, and a refuge from the sun in the morning. In the afternoon, the sun reaches my panels and keeps the batteries charged. And, I am safe here too because the sand road that leads north to Tedders dead ends just a few hundred feet inland from this bay, and the shady hike to that road is unobstructed by undergrowth.

That "Living Waters Road" I hiked down on foot from Tedders to this bay on Saturday. The land I am adjacent to at the end of the road is owned by the county as an undeveloped reserve. The road has a cow pasture along its entire eastern side and a scenic patch of land where ferns for the floral industry are grown on most of its western side. The only buildings are the houses up near Tedders. When I hiked the road, there was a lime tree next to it on the cow pasture side. I picked a lime, and it was very delicious -more sweet and less sour than I expected. I think I may go back to that tree from the boat here to get some more limes, because there were hundreds, and they are probably not going to be harvested by the cattle farmer wherever he lives. And it may not even be his tree, growing alone as it is right above the road. Maybe it just came up wild.

So this spot, as long as the water level stays up in this lake, is an ideal place to spend time at, away from all the boat, airboat, tourboat, canoe, kayak, and pedalboat traffic up at Tedders and the state park. I can see boats go past the top of the lake through my binoculars but can't hear any sound, except from the noisiest of the airboats. Through my binoculars to the southwest I can see the bird-watching shelter across the lake at the national wildlife refuge. I want to cross over there sometime in my little tender boat, but I want to wait for a day when the annoying wind stops blowing, if that ever happens.

I was speaking of foraging, which is my big hobby up in Ohio, when I talked about the lime tree. I am also interested in learning how many of the thick white starchy tubers of all these water plants are edible. They are extremely easy to harvest in huge quantities everywhere in these waters. I already investigated one plant -the Yellow, or Banana Water Lily, which is thick here and at Tedders. The tubers ARE edible, so I tried one, and it was delicious -not at all fibrous like cattail tubers, and not with any fishy pond muck taste like water plants in Ohio.

Ghost is doing very well, and loves this little bay too. I took some pictures of him earlier in September:

September, 2010 pictures of Ghost

There is also a picture there I took at Tedders of a large heron. There is another one that lives there that is even bigger -standing about four feet tall. It is so cute to watch him walking on the dock while eating a fish, with kittens at his feet to gobble up scraps he drops. (L. H. feeds these fish camp kittens every morning.)

Speaking of L. H., he is quite worried about the finances of the fish camp since the big meltdown of the economy in 2008. There just aren't enough boats and ramp fees to keep the business going as it always had before 2008. I like him and the other people in the little hamlet of houses around the camp, so I want to continue helping out, like paying for my place at the camp for a whole year like I did (he gave me a discount), and doing work for free to fix the place up, like helping with the plumbing like I did.

I want to use the peace and quiet at this bay to get focused now on what I want to do soon -fix the CV joint on my Geo Metro so it is safe to drive it to Ohio to get my gas motors and other larger things I want down here. (I talked about this on September 5th, and mentioned driving back via Louisiana to get my shelter for when it finally gets colder here.)

As for problems I've been having with my phone, it appears I've solved them by buying two spare batteries at the new Batteries Plus store in Daytona Beach last week.

Since the phone is my "modem" for putting things like this on the internet and doing research there, I am very happy that it is working much better now.