According to the printed handout I received on arrival at the King's Landing launch site, Rock Springs Run, the paddle that we were about to embark upon is fondly referred to as, "Florida's Best Kept Secret" ... so it is with regret that I must admit...all those other places I've been calling Florida's Best Kept Secret, are now taking second place to Rock Springs Run. Yes, folks this magnificent run is by far one of the most beautiful stretches of fresh water streams found in Central Florida. Situated approximately 30 miles north of Orlando, this State Reserve has it all from pine woods, swamps, artesian springs to Indian mounds and camps.
My only disappointment today was not seeing a Florida Black Bear that reportedly visits some of the camps. Well, hardly a disappointment when you consider the abundance of other wildlife that will keep anyone with a camera entertained. The last time I was here, an alligator actually swam under my kayak as I was paddling several yards north of the Big Buck Camp sand spit where paddlers occasionally stop for a break. The paddlers were there that day as well and I've never seen people scramble so fast to get back into their boats as the alligator headed in their direction. While today's chilly temperatures kept the alligators at bay, it didn't keep the birds, butterflies, bees, spiders or flowers from making an appearance. Spring is in the air. We also watched a hawk swoop down from a nearby tree in what could only be described as a well calculated assault, only to miss his targeted prey - a quick maneuvering Kingfisher. Another disappointment? Not if you're the Kingfisher.