Wednesday January 27th 2021
It was nearly noon before the sun won the battle with the lifting morning fog. Today’s weather was rapidly changing. By 2PM the clouds associated with the approaching cold front blocked the full sunshine from reaching the ground. One hundred miles to the north tornado and severe thunderstorm warnings were in place. Shortly after 4PM the rain and thunderstorms arrived here. The worst was over by 6:30, but the rain is likely to continue off and on most of the night.
Today I walked the Swamp loop trail in Silver Springs State Park. The trail head for the two mile trail is about a third of a mile from my campsite near the Silver River Museum. Its name turned out to be a bit of an over sell. The majority of the trail is through pine and hardwood forest. The swamp part of the trail is a short boardwalk spur trail that goes out to an observation platform on the bank of the Silver River.
The most interesting part of the hike was in the pine forest section of the trail. I had a close encounter with four or five deer. I heard moving in the trees and brush that was louder than the usual squirrel, so I stopped and waited. The deer soon appeared about seventy five to a hundred feet away. A couple of the deer spotted me and froze. I had a chance to take a few pictures before I moved on. The deer weren’t ready to move yet.
The Silver River overlook provided a view of the clear river water. It was easy to see the sandy bottom areas and the underwater grass sections. I could also see many small fish and a water snake. On the far bank the birds were congregating. Ibis were foraging for food in the swampy area, a Great Egret was fishing along the rivers edge and several Anhingas were drying their wings up in the trees.