Posts from the “Thomas Creek” Category

Thomas Creek 4

Posted on March 12, 2015

Early Dawn - Thomas Creek

Early Dawn – Thomas Creek

Today the fog did not elude me. Thomas Creek is about an hour north of the house, and even though I saw little signs of fog on the river, as I approached the boat ramp I had a big smile on my face. “Don’t worry,” I told myself, “the fog will dissipate as soon as I get the boat into the water.” Needless to say I was a bit hasty in the launching of the kayak and I was in the creek and heading east (downstream). I had never been this way before so I felt I was experiencing a new place and didn’t know what to expect. The fog wasn’t overpowering and I could see that the sun was trying to come through, but the cloud cover started to come in and the fog lingered for almost 90 minutes. This allowed me to paddle at least a mile with the current and as the creek widened, I decided to turn around. I didn’t realize how strong the current was and found myself paddling harder than usual to make any headway. I had to resort to using the anchor to stop the boat when taking photos and even then the boat would turn in seemingly random directions settling at just the angle that put me opposite of where I wanted to face. C’est la vie.

Foggy Passage - Thomas Creek

Foggy Passage – Thomas Creek

By around 9:30 the fog had largely lifted and the sun was shining from my back, which puts the landscape in a flat light. I kept looking back and seeing illuminated foliage but looking ahead everything was ho-hum. I decided to keep going as I knew the creek would take some twists and turns changing the direction of the light. I passed some familiar scenes and could not find anything that was freshly interesting. I don’t know if it was the light, the familiarity of the place, or my mood. I had just been blown away with the fog experience and I was still on a high from that. I decided to change to a longer lens (70-200) and this helped greatly to change my point of view and what I was looking for. I had gone for several outings with just my 24-70 lens which worked out great. But I was happy with the new eyes. The spring foliage is quite spectacular in terms of both the color and the freshness of new growth. I enjoy seeing the perfect, undamaged young leaves with their translucent glow. It is certainly as exciting as any peak autumn foliage, at least in Florida.

Thomas Creek

Spring foliage – Thomas Creek

Today I saw no one on the creek. I did hear gun shots from the firing range at the adjacent correctional facility. These rang out constantly, and I tried hard to tune them out but they were disturbing. I could hear the birds and feel the stillness of the morning but somehow hearing multiple rounds being fired constantly just makes me feel a bit uneasy. That was the only drawback all morning. Even the occasional jet passing overhead didn’t phase me. I’m enjoying spring immensely, and looking forward to the coming changes as the creeks continue to transform.

Thomas Creek

More spring foliage – Thomas Creek

Is it Spring on Thomas Creek?

Posted on January 3, 2015

Lifting Fog

Lifting Fog on Thomas Creek

It’s January 3rd and the last time I checked, we are somewhere in the first part of Winter, right? Well, how come there are flowers on the maple trees? Today was 83 degrees, a record high. Some trees are still dropping leaves, others are pushing out new ones. For the most part the landscape looks bare but there’s a lot of new life ready to explode. And we haven’t had a day below freezing yet! The trip to Thomas Creek is about 45 minutes from the house. I woke up later than planned and as the sun rose I could see that there was fog in the low areas. In fact I was concerned that it may be too foggy to photograph…wishful thinking! I arrived at the boat ramp at 7:45, the sun was making an appearance and then the fog lifted. It’s amazing how quickly the area cleared out. You could see the blue sky suddenly appear as the remnants of the fog moved away. I was so disappointed. 30 minutes could have provided enough time to get a few shots in the creek, but this will have to wait until next time. The fog continues to elude me!

Bare Tree Reflections

Transparency – Thomas Creek

Thomas Creek is an ideal paddling experience. It is long, winding, and free from a lot of obstructions. I was fortunate that some clouds came in and provide some ideal conditions for photography. I was prepared to continue my series on the FL winter landscape but the appearance of the spring growth was a big surprise. I’m looking forward to the next transformation.

Lifting Fog

Winter Morning on Thomas Creek

Spring Growth

Hints of Spring – Thomas Creek

Thomas Creek 2

Posted on June 14, 2014

Thomas Creek

Heading West on Thomas Creek

Thomas Creek will always have a special place in my heart. John Pemberton took us here on our maiden voyage a few weeks ago. I had never heard of Thomas Creek. It forms the border of Duval and Nassau counties, and is quite long. Although it doesn’t empty into the St. Johns, I count it as one of our premiere North Florida creeks that is superb for kayaking. The launch facility at the end of Ethel Road has a large restroom with flush toilets, picnic area, and nature trails. The creek runs east/west (sorta) from the launch and we headed upstream (west) just like our inaugural trip. The creek is wide with plenty of twists, turns, and overhanging trees.

Follow Me - Thomas Creek

Follow Me – Thomas Creek

Illuminated Greens - Thomas Creek

Illuminated Greens – Thomas Creek

We were fortunate that the sky was a bit overcast, with the sun darting in and out. This made our shooting time much longer and allowed us to paddle for 2 hours before turning back. We made it up to the correctional facility picnic area…for those of you who know where that is please remember we paddle s-l-o-w-l-y. Thomas Creek is one of those places you can return to time and time again.