So where is Silver Glen Springs? Who ever heard of Silver Glen Springs? When we drive from Charleston to Ellen's mom's place in Plant City we have two options to risk life and limb on I-95 and I-4 or to escape and take a back road. When I win, we leave I-95 in Jacksonville and drive southwest to Palatka, pick up 19 and head through the Ocala National Forest. It is quiet, there is little traffic and there are a number of high volume springs with crystal clear water. So an ideal place to work on underwater photo skills.
How we drove home
So to see our path, here are the GPS tracks to Silver Glen Springs.
This is Silver Glen Springs - and the day is Dec 26, 2004 - outside temp was about 5 C, water temp was 22 C - wonderful. You can see the steam hovering over the spring surface.
This was 2 days later (Dec 28).
The fish here are very interesting, because most are salt water fish that swim upstream from the atlantic ocean into this spring. I guess they adapt to the lack of salt while migrating upstream - anyway - it makes a nice place to view interesting fish with good visability.
Joseph Wolfersberger provided a great explanation for why things are the way they are at Silver Glen Springs:
My undergrad degree is in Biology and I took classes in Oceanography and Limnology at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. The water in the St Johns is brackish as far upstream as Palatka. The St Johns is a really interesting river it only drops in elevation less than 10 meters from its source to the ocean and that is over a 300 mile course.You are familiar with Salt Springs I am sure. The mineral content is rather high in Silver Glen as well. My professor at the time said that since the calcium carbonate level is so high the salt water fish can still osmoregulate.
Here are some sucker fish - the kind you see in your aquarium, cleaning the sides. Only these are about 0.5 m long.
Here are some interesting photos of turtles.
and sting rays, with a little yellow fish playing with it
Click for a video (10 Mb quicktime) of the fish playing with the ray
This is some kind of blue fish - needs identifying. John Frascello from Jacksonville tells me this is a Nile Perch or Talapia,
A flounder blending in with the color of the sand
Gar Fish - with wonderful long snouts
School of mullets
A school of mullets just under the surface of the water
A school of mullets
C. Frank Starmer