Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge at a glance

We flew to Orlando Florida and drove to this beautiful remote region west of Gainesville. So many green things, and a luminescent blue coloration overhead with lots of flappy feathered creatures chirping and fluttering. Ferns. Flowers. Palm trees.

image

image

 
image

Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge
Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge

image

image

image

imageimage

 
image

 

image

image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WACISSA RIVER, FLORIDA

The Wacissa River is place of stunning beauty in a remote part of Florida. We had been wanting to visit this place for some time, having viewed many beautiful photos of this river. It was a great pleasure to actually go there and drop a kayak in and start rowing! As soon as we got going we were greeted with enchanting vistas and scenes as well as plenty of wildlife dwelling in this habitat.

Wacissa River, Florida. www.thesanguineroot.com
Wacissa River, Florida. www.thesanguineroot.com

Amazing to think we just got in the car on a cold dreary February day in Philly, and started driving south. After visiting Washington D.C. and Savannah, we headed this way.

Wacissa River, Florida. www.thesanguineroot.com
Wacissa River, Florida. www.thesanguineroot.com

As we rowed out into the open waters, that ol’ winter sun illuminated the trees just so, and created a spectacular play of light on the river-scape. The warm breezes brushed against our cheeks and we could hear the feathers of birds flapping across the water.

Wacissa River, Florida. www.thesanguineroot.com
Wacissa River, Florida. www.thesanguineroot.com

The blooming Red Maples giving the horizon a dash of red.

Wacissa River, Florida. www.thesanguineroot.com
Wacissa River, Florida. www.thesanguineroot.com

Close enough to Tallahassee to get 4 bars LTE though. Still remote, but not that much remote!

Wacissa River, Florida. www.thesanguineroot.com
Wacissa River, Florida. www.thesanguineroot.com

An hour and 15 minutes rowing brought us further down the river when Isabelle heard a distinctive flapping of bird wings overhead. She looked up to see what first appeared to be a cat with wings. This wild beast flew right over her and she craned her neck as it flew into the forest abutting the Wacissa’s shore. After a few moments of silence, Isabelle exclaimed “owl!” …”That was an Owl!”  Owl? What? Where? When? What Owl? Where Owl? We both rowed towards the forest’s edge, looking for the

Wacissa River, Florida. www.thesanguineroot.com
Wacissa River, Florida. www.thesanguineroot.com

Owl.

 

Wacissa River, Florida. www.thesanguineroot.com
Wacissa River, Florida. www.thesanguineroot.com

There it was that said Owl.

Wacissa River, Florida. www.thesanguineroot.com
Wacissa River, Florida. www.thesanguineroot.com

Our Owl had perched on a tree. A Barred owl. To see it so close up and actually get a few pictures was indeed a most spectacular achievement!

Wacissa River, Florida. www.thesanguineroot.com
Wacissa River, Florida. www.thesanguineroot.com

It stayed awhile and this was very pleasing to the eye.

Wacissa River, Florida. www.thesanguineroot.com
Wacissa River, Florida. www.thesanguineroot.com

How about that owl?

Wacissa River, Florida. www.thesanguineroot.com
Wacissa River, Florida. www.thesanguineroot.com

The Wacissa River had become an owl-filled adventure in just the first hour, never mind the alligator and the water moccasin dramas!

Wacissa River, Florida. www.thesanguineroot.com
Wacissa River, Florida. www.thesanguineroot.com

Here we encountered a Water moccasin. Look, there is very poisonous snake. Slowly row away from the snake. Maybe get a picture.

Wacissa River, Florida
Wacissa River, Florida
Wacissa River, Florida. www.thesanguineroot.com
Wacissa River, Florida. www.thesanguineroot.com

 

Wacissa River, Florida. www.thesanguineroot.com
Wacissa River, Florida. www.thesanguineroot.com

 

Wacissa River, Florida. www.thesanguineroot.com
Wacissa River, Florida. www.thesanguineroot.com

The little Blue Heron.

Wacissa River, Florida. www.thesanguineroot.com
Wacissa River, Florida. www.thesanguineroot.com

This is a tributary of the Wicissa, where in these deep blue waters Isabelle encountered an alligator. Upon visitation  of the creature she began her retreat, naturally.

Wacissa River, Florida.www.thesanguineroot.com with special guest photographer Mark Daniel
Wacissa River, Florida.www.thesanguineroot.com with special guest photographer Mark Daniel
Wacissa River, Florida. www.thesanguineroot.com
Wacissa River, Florida. www.thesanguineroot.com

This is the place for the alligators to dwell!

Wacissa River, Florida. www.thesanguineroot.com
Wacissa River, Florida. www.thesanguineroot.com

Just a few yards away from this favored spot of the little blue heron.

 

Wacissa River, Florida.www.thesanguineroot.com with special guest photographer Mark Daniel
Wacissa River, Florida.www.thesanguineroot.com with special guest photographer Mark Daniel

And now it is lunchtime among the Bald Cypress.

Now, there is indeed more to report on the Owl :

Barred owl, Wacissa River, Florida
Barred owl, Wacissa River, Florida.www.thesanguineroot.com with special guest photographer Mark Daniel

 

Mark, who regularly visits the Wacissa and had brought us here this fine day had not seen the owl. Later that evening as we were going through our pictures Mark brought up how lucky we were weather wise.

” Really though. It was even luckier to have seen that Owl and even luckier to have a few pictures to show for it”

Mark: silence

Mark: What Owl? Did you just say you saw an Owl? Where was this Owl?  You have pictures of an Owl?

“You know, the Owl you got down at the river. You know not of such Owl?”

Barred owl, Wacissa River, Florida.www.thesanguineroot.com with special guest photographer Mark Daniel
Barred owl, Wacissa River, Florida.www.thesanguineroot.com with special guest photographer Mark Daniel

Well Mark had not encountered the Owl, but he was most certainly not going to let this one escape his sight!

This past Weekend, Mark encountered and photographed this Owl of ours.

Barred owl, Wacissa River, Florida.www.thesanguineroot.com with special guest photographer Mark Daniel
Barred owl, Wacissa River, Florida.www.thesanguineroot.com with special guest photographer Mark Daniel

 

Barred owl, Wacissa River, Florida.www.thesanguineroot.com with special guest photographer Mark Daniel
Barred owl, Wacissa River, Florida.www.thesanguineroot.com with special guest photographer Mark Daniel

And he was very pleased to report that the owl has a special companion, on top of that!

Barred owl, Wacissa River, Florida.www.thesanguineroot.com with special guest photographer Mark Daniel
Barred owl, Wacissa River, Florida.www.thesanguineroot.com with special guest photographer Mark Daniel