I wanted to share some of our anniversary boat ride this year. On May 7th, I celebrated my wedding anniversary. My husband took me out on a nature boat ride for the day (the little gardeners went to the babysitter)! We spent most of the day on Strickland Creek up in the Tomoka River Basin on the East Coast of Central Florida. This is how I see (and love) natural Florida in May!
85 degrees outside and not a cloud in the sky.
Though you can’t see it here, the water was so clear you could see the bottom and all the fish.
See what happened when we threw the cast net. Thousands of Menhaden were schooling in the creek.
White Mushrooms and yellow wild flowers grow on this fallen river palm. There were also white butterflies everywhere!
We stopped and ate lunch on the bank where the creek meets the river. We played with crabs and jellies before heading back.
Unfortunately the creek was full of the invasive Australian spotted jellyfish. This one was about the size of a dinner plate. They are mildly venomous and pose no threat to humans. I believe the commercial fishermen don’t like them in their nets. Some can weigh up to 25 pounds. I think the biggest concern with these invasive creatures is they are eating fish eggs and larvae. They can affect our fish reproduction levels and the balance of our ecosystem.
Mud Fiddler Crabs are all along the sandy dirt banks of the creek (and most of the river). They are very common & I think they are hard to catch. 😉
Of course, I love any kind of wood. This Cypress tree lays on the side of the bank…but look it’s not dead.
We caught and released several different species of fish while on the creek: red fish, catfish, trout and drum. These pictures are of a young red fish too small to keep but very unusual. Most red fish have a couple spots. This one had a total of 29 spots!
I had to save the BEST part of the boat ride for last…
We had the opportunity to ride with a manatee for a little while! I kept telling my husband, “Remember look for manatees. I want to try to see one before this trip is over.” I was delighted when one came up to the boat and rode next to us. It is always so exciting!