It was nice to see Morrison clear today and a diversity of folks enjoying lots of different outdoor activities: swimming, fishing, boating, having a barbecue. That’s how the spring was meant to be enjoyed. The water coming out of the cavern was a cold 68F, as usual, and shoots straight at the SCUBA dock. You can feel a distinct change in the water temperature as you get onto the downstream side of the basin, where the warmer water mixes with the cold spring water. This is a bit of a different pattern from about ten years back when I used to spend a lot of time in this spring.
There was a lot of debris on the surface from the storm a couple of days ago, but nothing gross, aside from a few oil blobs. There was a really strange smell, not coming from the water, but kind of hanging in the air around the swimming dock and cypresses on that side of the spring. It reminded me of paint thinner. My first thought was of course “shake-n-bake meth lab”, but I hope there was a more mundane (and non-water-polluting) explanation. In my opinion it would be really dumb for anybody to have their meth-making stuff in this heavily-used area that has a decent county law enforcement presence and a lot of security cameras. This is obviously a nice park for families, so I wouldn’t want to give the wrong impression, the smell was weird though.
I saw a shellcracker about the size of my head near the buoy on the downstream side of the swimming area. There were a few other smaller sunfish, a couple of suckers, and the usual small fish in the shallows.
At first I thought kids had been being jerks by submerging this picnic table. Then I had sandy shoes and found that it was a great place to sit and get clean feet before getting out. It would also be ideal for divers donning heavy gear and cumbersome fins in waist-deep water.
After I cleaned my shoes and was leaving the water I found this mature Florida apple snail. Check this out if you don’t already know why Florida applesnails are awesome! This is the first live large FL applesnail I have ever found.