Springs Outing – Seminole State Forest

On this hike, the Florida Springs Institute combined with St. Johns Riverkeeper for a day hike through Seminole State Forest.  Led by Jane Durocher of Riverkeeper, Heather Obara of FSI, and Ranger Ralph Risch we hopped from a conversation with a scrub jay to three small unknown (to most of us) springs. The first stop was a mile or so along the appropriately named Sand Road, where Ralph called a nesting pair of scrub jays to welcome us…

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Springs Outing – Holton Creek Tract Hike

Written by FSI Board Member, Dave Wilson Despite easy access near Live Oak, Holton Creek is a virtually unknown spot.  Outing leader and biologist, Tom Morris, chose this venue as a natural progression from last month’s exploration of the sink at the Alapaha Dead River!  The connection between the Dead River Sink and the rise at Holton Creek was established last year by the Florida Geological Survey when they dumped 100 pounds of fluorescein dye into the…

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Springs Outing – A Tour of the Best Karst Features in the Ellaville Area

Despite chilly breezes and overcast skies, Tom Morris led 29 outings enthusiasts through the karst region surrounding Suwannee River State Park. To start the trip, Tom used samples to explain the differences between Ocala limestone, Suwannee limestone, and chert. Limestone is calcium carbonate or CaCO3; the Ocala Limestone is soft and crumbles in your hand; the Suwannee Limestone is hard; while chert is silica dioxide with formula SIO2.   He also brought along a fossilized mastodon rib bone and…

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Alapaha Dead River Hike Recap

By Dave Wilson (FSI Outings Leader) Twenty six springs enthusiasts enjoyed a perfect day hiking along the Alapaha River near Jennings, Florida.  This river is notable because of its large fluctuations in water level.  When ten inches of rain fall in South Georgia, the water can be 25 feet deep.  After informative talks by Florida Springs Director, Bob Knight, and leader, Tom Morris, we began with a side trip to an old settlement, where a pipe had…

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Springs Outing – Harvey Sharron Bat Cave

By Dave Wilson Once again Tom Morris led a group of intrepid hikers into the unknown.  This time 15 willing victims descended into the Harvey Sharron Bat Cave located midway between Newberry and High Springs.   Since it is fenced off to keep both visitors and the cave out of harm’s way, we had to stop at Santa Fe College to pick up a key to the gate.  While the cave is small, we were scheduled at the…

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