Posts from the “Big Davis Creek” Category

Winter…no, early Spring on Big Davis and Julington Creek

Posted on January 13, 2015

Early Spring at the Cathedral of Nature - Julington Creek

Early Spring at the Cathedral of Nature – Julington Creek

Today I went fog chasing into the creek and to my surprise the creek was absolutely clear. There was heavy fog everywhere except the creek, go figure. Must be the temperature of the water or something. I was so disappointed. I made the best of the outing and found different conditions from my last time here in November. The landscape has turned ito a palette of grays, browns, and greens. Gone are the yellows and oranges. Bright green for the new growth, dark green for the existing evergreen plants. The tide was low and as I crossed several dead tree limbs going upstream I thought about the water levels on my way back. Several areas are pretty clogged so make sure you are not at dead low tide when you head upstream. I came to several familiar areas (like Cathedral of Nature) and remembered how completely green everything was. I find the transparency of the landscape revealing of both the trees and the areas beyond. It’s interesting to look “deep” into the forest. I can now see why there are so many mosquitoes in the summer!

Autumn Holdout - Julington Creek

Autumn Holdout – Julington Creek

New growth is appearing everywhere on the trees. I did find one lone maple with red autumn leaves. The warmth of the creek must really confuse the plants. I know it confused the fog. Winter appears to be officially over as far as the creeks are concerned. We are having some cool weather but nothing below freezing yet. I’ll still be chasing that elusive foggy morning in the meantime.

Green Dusting - Big Davis Creek

Green Dusting – Big Davis Creek

Autumn on Big Davis and Julington Creek

Posted on November 17, 2014

Sunrise Mist on Big Davis Creek

Sunrise Mist on Big Davis Creek

It’s been a few weeks since the kayak has seen any water. I arrived at the St. Augustine Road launch a little before sunrise and saw that the Spatterdock has largely died off allowing a clear path up Big Davis Creek. I was excited. There was some lingering fog on the water and plenty of very large spider webs. I paddled for about a half mile and was turned around by two big trees blocking access. As I turned around I noticed that my light had changed. I much prefer side/backlight. The frontal light was bright and not creating the landscapes I was looking for. There were still lots of leaves on the trees although the overall color had definitely changed. I found a small tributary stream and made my way as far as I could. I was surrounded by autumn color.


Surrounded by Autumn

As Big Davis ended I made a right onto Julington Creek. Some familiar scenes were in the process of transformation and it was nice to see some colors other than shades of green on the trees. By now all of the fog had burned off and the sun was trying hard to make its way into the creek.

Fall Colors

Fall Colors on Julington Creek


Fallen Branch – Julington Creek

The turnaround on Julington Creek comes quickly and soon I was on my way home. Autumn has definitely left its mark on the landscape and I look forward to the changes ahead.

Blue Sky Reflections

Blue Sky Reflections on Big Davis Creek


Big Davis and Julington Creek

Posted on June 1, 2014


Raindrops – Big Davis Creek

My first outing with the big camera. A little nervous but the worst that could happen would be the boat flips and all my camera gear goes to the bottom of the creek. Ok, that’s what insurance is for. The morning was overcast, rain was in the forecast. Gray was out of town so I soloed this one with a launch at the South Entrance to Palmetto Leaves Regional Park, across from Kohls on Old St. Augustine Road. Never been here before. This is a VERY nice park, a real secret tucked away in a busy area. Restrooms, picnic tables, plenty of parking. The launch is a floating dock that kinda puts you right in the creek. For kayakers, the point of maximum instability is getting in and out of your boat. There is some serious rocking around if you are not careful, and any attempt to compensate usually results in a dump. I did not wish for this result. I took me about a minute to make the transition from the dock to the boat. As I sat on the dock with one leg in the boat, I kept thinking about moving my butt over to the seat in one smooth motion. Easy. I would go through the motion and halfway through I’d stop. The boat would start tipping side to side. Yikes! I recomposed myself and tried again. I wish I had a video of this.

Morning Paddle - Big Davis Creek

Morning Paddle – Big Davis Creek

Once in the boat I was off and running. My general rule is to secure the camera in the center compartment until needed. No need to snap it all shut but just have it covered to protect from¬†paddle drips. I didn’t realize how little light is in the creeks. I had an idea from using my G10 that high ISO would be necessary. I also had no idea on where I could go with the ISO to retain the print fidelity I wanted. Remember, I’m usually shooting from a tripod at ISO 100, f/18. That wasn’t going to happen here unless I wanted a blurry mess. The happy medium seemed to be ISO 2500, f/9, 1/40-1/60 sec. While I was hoping for more depth of field and lower ISO, this is generally the ballpark I start with. I’m sure I’ll refine these setting as I start printing and develop more experience shooting.

Creek Canopy - Julington Creek

Creek Canopy – Julington Creek

The launch is on Big Davis Creek, which joins with Julington Creek. At the junction, I turned right to go upstream on Julington. What I love about this area is that there is NO development, no docks or lawns, or evidence of anything man-made. This is so rare especially in an area as beautiful as this. I am really surprised and relieved that these creeks are preserved. I had no idea of the beauty. I paddled until it began to rain. Just a sprinkle, but being the paranoid novice paddler, I was nervous that the deluge was moments away. In hindsight I should have stayed out there. The raindrops on the leaves and hitting the water were a delight.