Articles Lodging on the Santa Fe River, Alachua County, Florida
posted on October 19, 2010 08:20
A Hatching on Ichetucknee/Santa Fe River
Just 40 miles from Gainesville, magic happens on the rivers. When you book accommodations with clubfla.org at the cabin or treehouse, you too can experience the wonders Nature provides.
About 5 PM I walk down the lime rock road to our private beach for my evening swim, and as usual in the autumn, I gasp at the light that silver Ichetucknee River reflects just before sunset. Bright silver light blinds me. With less volume during these October rainless days, our crystal waters ripple like wind chimes over the rocks adding sound to the brilliance of the silvery light.
What’s this, though? Something new hovering above the river today. Too early for bats, but about that size, I think. Or are those darting objects the Skimmers who squeak their shrill call as they seek insects or tiny fish jumping above the water.
I shade my eyes from the blinding light. Not those twirling seeds that look like helicopters gliding down from the Maple trees…wrong season anyway. Too small for bats or Skimmers. I look upstream, away from the light and watch not the flock or hive, but one individual.
Some sort of large insect, like a dragonfly, but not one, flaps its inch-long wings and zips in seemingly random lines one way, then quickly flips and darts in another direction. Although hundreds of these sentient beings fly hither and thither, none connect; none collide. Like bats, some sense prevents their bumping each other.
Not knowing a name or habits leaves me only wondering and watching the beauty of the silver light bouncing off translucent wings, like a kaleidoscope of moving, changing patterns.
I dip into the spring for my swim, and as always when the water is the same temperature as the air, I never feel wet: air and water seem one.
Sitting on my own river bank on the Santa Fe River, I see the same display, only not with silver, but golden light.
The next evening I revisit the scene at the same time finding only a fraction of the same insects flying. The following evening, less, and now: none.
Some hatching, like that of the 17 year locusts, must have occurred. Like an ancient being, I remain ignorant until someone Googles it or tells me what I’ve seen.
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