Nature Walks – Mud Spring


Yes, it’s Election Day, but since I had already voted, I decided to go on a drive, with a couple of little walks thrown in for good measure.

First, I started out at Princess Place Preserve, to check on how the recovery work there was coming along.  Last weekend the park sponsored the annual “Creekside Festival”, which had been rescheduled due to the hurricane.  From the looks of things, the camping areas and central parts of the park had been fairly cleared out, but it was going to take awhile to address some of the other hiking trails.  The park was in direct line to some of the more damaging winds from the hurricane.  Many of the live sand oaks fell, some bringing down other trees or squashing shrubbery.  Still, there has been a lot of progress.


Next, I decided to drive back to Melaka State Forest, which is located between Hwy 17 and the St. John’s River.  I followed a nicely groomed flatland woods trail to the oddly named Mud Springs, which is a glowing sapphire blue spring at the head of Mud Creek.  The creek wanders towards the St. John’s River, which is out of sight.  There was an interesting mix of environments, with flatland woods (mostly pine and hardwoods) and then a swampy mix of cypress, palms and some other plants I don’t know yet.  One thing I can say, kayakers and canoeists would find a lot of these backwaters of Florida an intriguing place to visit, as that is the only way to access some of these places.  Bring insect repellent.  The mosquitoes weren’t quite as fierce today and seemed repelled by my “natural” Cutter’s brew.



Next, I drove back to the little town of Melaka, located on SR 309, south of Patlatka, and then followed SR 308B to Crescent City, which is located on the banks of Crescent Lake.  This is an old Florida town which I’ll have to explore a little later on.  I completed my driving loop via SR 305, 304 and Hwy 11, back to Bunnell, Florida.  Need I say that I’m fond of back roads?  I find that they generally have less traffic and slower speed limits.  I’m not in a hurry to get anywhere these days.

As far as wildlife was concerned, I startled a whitetail deer, saw quite a few large birds and a few fish at the springs.  And very few people.  I was completely alone the entire time at Mud Springs… and got rained on a bit before reaching the car.  Still, getting rained on when the temperatures are in the upper 70’s is rather pleasant.  I was completely dry once again after sitting in the car just a few moments.  I still have some of my nylon hiking gear from the Pacific NW, which works quite well here in humid Florida, if it isn’t too hot outside.


It was a joy to have a little outing as I continue to gain knowledge of the surrounding territory and its road system, as well as the natural environments of Florida.  It was also pleasant to turn my back on the hysteria accompanying the election process going on in the States.  Folks, the election is a circus.  We don’t elect our leaders under the current system.  And what’s more, we don’t need leaders to get things done.  Our current leadership is filled with highly corrupt, narcissistic power-hungry individuals working under orders from unseen powerful individuals behind the scenes.  And I think the American public is finally beginning to see what is really going on.  It is time for a REAL change, first coming within the open-hearted individual and then with a coming together of people who carry within similar dreams for humanity… like those of our blessed water protectors at Standing Rock, North Dakota.  The time of the Rainbow Tribes has arrived.

Meanwhile back in Florida… nature time is me time.  Time to relax, get some exercise and fresh air, learn a few more plants and visit areas that are so different from the western lands where I’ve spent most of my adult life up until now.

Enjoy the rest of your week!


Eliza Ayres

All Rights Reserved, Eliza Ayres,

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