Smoke On The Water – Ashville Bridge Creek – North Bay 20050420

Distance: 8.9

Official High for the day 87, winds out of the Southwest at 10 to 15 MPH. The weather is supposed to go downhill for the next couple of days, including the weekend, and I had a minor break at work today, so….

Took off from Lotus Garden Park and headed out Ashville Bridge Creek, the water level was pretty low, but flowing in due to the southerly winds. Everything is greening up nicely, and there was a dusting of pollen on the water.

There is more and more bird activity, and the fish are really waking up, I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to coming up on a large catfish or whatever lounging just below the surface, and startling them and in turn having them startle me…

Approaching North Bay, I noticed smoke around Horn Point, which kind of piqued my interest, to wonder if it was a controlled burn, house fire or whatever. Making the turn, I noticed that the fire was in the marsh, so I headed over to see what was going on, basically a marsh fire (I have no idea on how it started), which was fascinating to watch. It would cycle to almost nothing, and then to a full wall of flames, and then back down to almost nothing.

While it was burning its way through the marsh, I decided to revisit a location on porpoise point that I visited back on March 26th, that had burnt previously. It was really nice to see that the area essentially has completely recovered with new green growth.

Turning back to head home, I noticed that the Northern section had just about burnt out. I went over to take a look at the aftermath, and it appeared that what had burnt was the old growth, and the new growth looked wilted, but was still green. Heading back up Ashville Bridge Creek, the Egret/Crane (okay I suck at bird identification) could have cared less about me as I passed, so I pulled out the camera, and drifted back down and got some good pictures of it feeding.

Nothing else eventful happened until I was about a quarter mile from the launch site… I came in contact with 2 wayward jet skiers, that apparently thought that going up the creek was a “good” idea, which is okay as long as you can maintain a plane in 1 foot of water, but it is really hard to maintain a plane and turn in a creek that’s about 30 feet wide. They weren’t pleased when I explained to them the creek didn’t get deep for close to a quarter mile down stream, but the good news was that the water had risen about 2 inches in the last couple of hours… I guess the Water Moccasin cruising across the creek about 10 yards away didn’t give them a warm and fuzzy… 🙂

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