The sun is shining again this morning after we almost froze to death yesterday, as temperatures in Florida are far too low for this time of year. Early in the morning we went to a place near Gainesville, where we had a date with Ginger Morgen, the biologist at Ichetucknee Springs State Park.
The first spring in the park was full of dense stands of Myriophyllum heterophyllum and Ludwigia repens as well as Sagitaria kurzeriana, Charra ssp. and Nasturium floridanum. The edge of the bank was also covered with Crinum americanum, which produce distinctive fat bulbs. The water temperature was around 22 °C and visibility was excellent. After exploring the spring for a while we went on to the Blue Spring Hole, where we came across some cave divers. The bottom was densely covered with Sagittaria kurzeriana. A Fissidens species was growing on a huge cypress on the shady bank area.
But the absolute highlight was the Ichetucknee River which flows into the Santa Fe River after a few miles. A sight to behold for real plant fans. Aquatic plants in magnificent colours as far as the eye could see. You feel like a fish in a fantastic aquascaping layout. However, we didn't encounter any of the medium-sized alligators that are said to live here. After over six hours in the water we crawled back onto land and tried to digest what we had seen over a good dinner.