A very sunny Thanksgiving Day in northern Florida. We actually intended to go to Ginnie Springs, which is only a few miles from Ichetucknee, but we were told there are only rocks, sand and hardly any aquatic plants there. So we then headed north straight away, where we spotted a spring that Chris had visited before 10 years ago.
Wacissa Springs is in Jefferson County near Tallahassee. After 20 miles the Wacissa River flows into the sea in the Gulf of Mexico and is a popular place for fishing and all kinds of recreational sports. In the summer months airboats and motorboats race around the river so you can hardly find any peace and quiet. By this time in November and especially at Thanksgiving, there is nothing going on the river. Everyone is celebrating the day with family and we have the river to ourselves. Wonderful. A boat was hired and we paddled off.
The underwater landscape was not as spectacular as in Ichetucknee, but we did find a few highlights. The river was almost completely overgrown with Hydrilla verticillata, which looks confusingly similar to Egeria densa. In some places, we spotted Valisneria americana, Ceratophyllum demersum, Potamogeton sp. and we were particularly delighted to see some Cabomba caroliana. In the shady areas of the bank we found a Fissidens moss and - much to our amazement - Riccia fluitans. There were even some cushions growing under water on the bottom. Among the numerous floating plants, such as Nuva luteum, Pistia stratiodes and Lymnopium spongia, we also caught sight of an alligator.