June 1, 2015
8pm - A thunderstorm is ramping up. The radar image looks horrible, but I think the edge will just skirt our location. Should be a good night for listening to frog calls.
7pm - We planned on making the 11.8 mile trip for today, but the success with finding turtles and the low water level slowed us down quite a bit. We are camping on the river at a small county site. It will take us about three hours to reach Lithia Springs Park tomorrow. Photos from the day below
3:15pm - Just encountered a large group of kayakers. They were coming upstream then turned around. This means all turtle activity will be disturbed and the likelihood of us seeing turtles the rest of the day is slim. We have about three more hours until we reach our campsite.
2pm -Sucess! We caught our first Suwannee cooter.
12pm - Sighted seven yearling alligators.
11:30am - Found some beautiful flowering white lilies. Also found a well camouflaged male fishing spider.
11am - Saw our first Suwannee cooter. It was a sub-adult swimming in about three feet of water. We could not locate it after donning our snorkel gear.
9am - We begin our trip at Alderman's Ford Park, Hillsborough County. We have a short hike up the the convergence of the north and south prongs of the river.
As luck would have it, we came across our first specimen. I spotted a deceased Florida softshell turtle. This specimen will become a valuable research specimen for the Bruce Musuem natural history collection.
Water levels on the river are low. This causes us to wade quite a bit which slows us down. Heavy rains last night added about an inch of water which will help.