A Wekiva adventure

first_img November 20, 2017 at 1:14 pm Reply Oh come on now, Mr. Towne, if you remember, I had already promised to drop the subject of turkeys, in my posting above, before you even asked me to, you turkey…..lol Reply Reply Florida gas prices jump 12 cents; most expensive since 2014 Reply charles towne Kristin Mama Mia November 21, 2017 at 8:33 am Thanks for reminding us that a beautiful, restful place exists that we may visit and recharge our hearts and souls if only we are willing to spend the small time it requires to visit nature, which I think of as God’s own theme park! charles towne Mama Mia Mama Mia Reply Richard Sommerfeld November 21, 2017 at 5:11 pm LEAVE A REPLY Cancel reply George Reply November 22, 2017 at 3:50 pm Mama Mia, you are a hoot! When I was a boy we had turkeys on the old home place. They liked to roost in the trees overhanging the river with their tail feathers hanging in the water. One night it got real cold and when I got up in the morning several of the turkey’s tails were frozen fast. What to do? Well, being of a charitable frame of mind and feeling that I had to help the poor birds, I loaded up the twelve gauge shotgun, took aim and pulled the trigger. No, I did not shoot the turkeys, what kind of a guy do you think I am? I shot the ice UNDER the turkeys, liberating them sans tail feathers. As I remember we ate pheasant that year. Bless you and yours, Gobble, Gobble, Gobble! Chaz Reply Google: Turkeys staying at the Willard Hotel in Washington, DC…..because I want you to look at those turkeys upon the beds of that $ 3,000 per night hotel room! OMG… They also watched NFL football, and are fans of Faith Hill and Tim McGraw music and the rock group Journey….uh uh uh….SMH !!! November 20, 2017 at 11:37 pm charles towne Reply Please enter your comment! Reply November 21, 2017 at 5:09 pm UF/IFAS in Apopka will temporarily house District staff; saves almost $400,000 Dear Mama Mia, let’s agree to let the turkeys rest for awhile, please? Speaking of turkeys, there are a lot of dem, excuse me, that was supposed to be THEM, goofy birds living in Washington, but we won’t say that ’cause it wouldn’t be politically correct. Sincerely yours, Chaz Reply charles towne TAGSWekiva River Previous articleIn case you missed it: The Apopka news week in reviewNext articleAAA offers Tow-to-Go program on Thanksgiving weekend Denise Connell RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Reply November 21, 2017 at 6:17 pm 19 COMMENTS Reply Mama Mia Gov. DeSantis says new moment-of-silence law in public schools protects religious freedom Ah Mr. Towne, you are making me laugh too much sir, you are so funny. Now you didn’t have to go to the trouble of posting one of those footnote disclaimers….LOL.. Thanks for your response and opinions, and I wish you a very blessed and Happy Thanksgiving! Mama Mia Thank you for sharing your Wekiva bear experiences. I felt like I was there myself. It is amazing to think that bears enjoy the sunset and sing to themselves. But, why not? And that they are not only playful but can also be pranksters. Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter November 21, 2017 at 8:03 am Boy, Kristin, you said it so well, Why not? It is my experience that we can learn so much from the animal world. Most people want to relegate the animal world to the role of, “Dumb animal” but in reality they can teach us so much. Thanks for your wisdom and understanding. Chaz November 21, 2017 at 4:32 pm The bears prowling around here in the City of Apopka are going to have a mighty fine Thanksgiving feast on Thursday night, Thanksgiving, because I see where the COA garbage trucks are not going to be scheduled for regular garbage pickup that day, until much later on…. We don’t have any bear-proof garbage cans, here in the COA, like in the county, and the bears are sure going to be happy campers after the turkey carcasses and leftovers are discarded, and left out for days in the garbage cans. Garbage is always a temptation to dogs, raccoons, o’possums, hungry humans, and bears. It seems that it is impossible to educate human beings to place their garbage cans curbside on the morning of pickup. Bears are very intelligent creatures of habit. If they have found food in a place once, they will invariably return. The state folks have tried to educate the poor, dumb people with information via t.v. and literature to little or no good effect. There are no bear PROOF garbage cans in the state, just bear RESISTANT. Keep the cans in the garage until pickup day. Sorry, no comment on the idiocy of the politicians that will put up a couple of turkeys in a three thousand dollar a night suite. THE DARNED TURKEYS DON’T WANT TO BE THERE! You have a nice turkey day dear, ChazDISCLAIMER= The two above comments are the opinion of Charles Towne only and everybody knows he doesn’t have the good sense the good Lord gave a goofy gopher. Reply Mama Mia I see where the annual turkey pardon, at the White House must have gone as planned, don’t know for sure, but they showed two huge big pretty white feathery turkeys and they said on tv, that these two turkeys are even getting their own special accommodations inside a swanky Washington Willard Hotel room overnight, and that normally the hotel room rate goes for $ 3,000 a night. Obviously everybody in DC must be losing their minds….who is going to want to pay $ 3,000 dollars for a hotel room full of ” turkey turds ” after those turkeys check out….LOL…..wheeeeeeee….!!! November 21, 2017 at 4:38 pm By Charles Towne/Columnist for The Apopka Voice My first great love was a river.From wading and swimming in the Fox River of Illinois in my childhood I learned her surprises, her secrets, her dangers, and her charms.  Yes, I was exposed to her unpredictable, intimate persona, and I learned that she, like a lover, was always changing, never the same.Here in Central Florida, I have discovered another river – the Wekiva.What marvels, what mysteries, what beauty awaits us as we explore the Wekiva!  This riverine habitat is home to a broad spectrum of wildlife. Here dwells the large, as well as the small.  From tiny rodents that make up the bottom of the food chain, to deer and bear.  I so appreciate that old man of the forest, the black bear.  As a naturalist observing the wildlife on the Wekiva River I have been rewarded so often by Blackie’s capricious nature.  I have learned by direct observation that bears are highly intelligent.One of the indicators of intelligence in any creature is its ability and willingness to play, and that is what I want to share with you today.  Black bears might appear clumsy, clownish, but they are never dull.   And cute?  Yeah, adorably cute when they are cubs.  As they age they tend to lose that early playfulness for the most part, but I have seen fully grown bears of both sexes play with other bears.  Once I watched a big male playing with of all things, a turtle.I am certain the turtle was an unwilling participant.The bear was slapping the turtle around something fierce.  The turtle would roll several feet and the bear would chase it, pounce on it, grab it in both front paws, then, clutch it to himself he would mouth it, slobbering and drooling on the poor turtle as if he were trying to turn it into a big wet spitball.
  The turtle was slapped again to go rolling a score of paces only to be pounced on again.  The reptile, a gopher tortoise common to Florida, was next clutched tightly to bruin’s chest, the bear rolled onto his back, juggling the toy, and then there was some more mouthing and slobbering.At any time the bear could have closed powerful jaws on his unwilling toy, killing it, but it was obvious that was not his intent.
  The worst thing that could have happened to that poor turtle was he could possibly drown in all of that foamy bear slobber.  
 Finally the bear dropped the turtle and walked off swinging his big bear behind in that humorous way of his kind.  
 Another time I watched a large male sitting on the bank of the Wekiva. The bear was sitting on his broad rump on the riverbank.At first I was puzzled.  What was the creature doing?  Then it struck me, the bear seemed to be enjoying the sunset.  Ever so quietly I let the canoe drift to within twenty feet of the bear where it washed up against a large raft of water hyacinth and stopped.  The bear, sitting there swaying forward and backward, was unaware of me, and not wanting to break the spell of the moment I sat still and watched and enjoyed, listening to the water murmur under the canoe.Truly it was one of those magical moments that you learn to look forward to if you spend enough time in wild places.  
Then it was that I heard something else.  At first I was uncertain as to just what I was hearing, a low murmuring; moaning sound.   And when I realized what was making the sound I was almost shocked, for that bear was crooning, singing a bear song if you will.  I sat there until the sunset was almost gone, and then, dark shadows finally swallowed the bear.I have seen Blackie play with a twig in the water. I have filmed a another bear push and pull at a log, lifting it, for no more reason than it was there, and needed to be pushed and pulled and lifted.  
I have watched adults go into mock wrestling bouts, only to break off the contest after a short time, to go their separate ways. 
 After witnessing these periods of whimsy, I can only conclude that though bears spend much time alone, they certainly like to play, and they enjoy the occasional company of another bear.   I will never forget the time I was videotaping a young bear.  I had laid my notepad down on the ground and was following the little guy as he led me in a huge circle through the woods adjacent to the Wekiva, and would you believe it, he ended up back at my notepad where he turned, looked at me, and I swear that little demon was grinning as he squatted and pooped on my notepad!  I got it on film folks.Go to the Wekiva, but go quietly.  Wet a line, catch a fish or three, and be prepared for the unexpected. Please enter your name here November 21, 2017 at 4:56 pm The turkeys will live out their days there and will join Tater and Tot, two other turkeys already there that former President Obama pardoned when he was president. President Trump stated that he had been reversing a lot of Obama’s executive orders and such as that, and Trump apparently was looking into reversing the pardons of Tater and Tot, who were Obama’s pardoned turkeys, but the White House authorities told Trump that could not be, as the pardons were not reversible….!!!! I swear, I am not making this up, it right on you tube/ Donald Trump pardons his first turkey, Drumstick….check it out. Umm..umm…ummm….SMH!!! Reply November 21, 2017 at 11:55 am Reply November 20, 2017 at 11:00 pm Mama Mia Reply I learned to love the Wekiva and its residents from my friend Charles. Thanks for the introduction and the memories Yea, we got the truck fixed and back out of the shop! I am thankful for that. You have entered an incorrect email address! Please enter your email address here Mama Mia Reply Mr. Towne, I sure was upset when I heard about the news of the bear over in the Springs subdivision, off of 434 where a couple’s little 12 year old Yorkie dog was killed by a bear that had been hanging out around there, and had already killed another dog in that same subdivision only 2 weeks ago. What do you think that the FWC should do in this case about the bear? Do you think the bear should be relocated, left alone, or euthanized? I was just wondering what you think should be done about this bear. I remember not too long ago, maybe a year or two ago, a bear was hit by a car near this Springs subdivision, and was killed and was left lying by the shoulder of 434….. November 20, 2017 at 5:02 pm November 22, 2017 at 10:43 am Dear Mama Mia, I want you to know that I resemble that comment! Gobble, gobble, gobble! Chaz charles towne Okay I have found out more about the turkey that got pardoned today by President Trump, the one named Drumstick, the biggest one. The other turkey, Wishbone, is safe also, as both turkeys are heading to Gobbler Ranch, I think that is what they called it, an enclosed area of refuge at the Virginia Tech University…… November 20, 2017 at 10:43 pm Dear Mama Mia, I am not aware of all the circumstances concerning the dogs being killed so it is hard for me to comment. One thing that we do know is relocation does not work here in the sunshine state. The only thing that will keep a bear from traveling back to its home range is a large body of water or a mountain range and we have neither in this state. If in fact a bear killed two dogs I wonder why? Euthanasia is certainly a viable solution, but? Research will prove that bears are not usually dog killers, but there could be extenuating circumstances I suppose. Sad, very sad for the dogs, the folks that owned the dogs, and the bear. After the fact there are no winners in a situation like this. These are just some of my thoughts, sorry I can’t give a definitive answer dear lady. Your inquiry bring up a lot of questions that call for answers that the powers that be do not have. Other states have approached and solved the difficult problem more reasonably and more honestly, Washington state for instance. More another time. Chaz charles towne Mama Mia Lower Wekiva River Preserve November 21, 2017 at 12:41 pm November 21, 2017 at 6:27 pm Mama Mia Reply November 21, 2017 at 12:23 pm This entire turkey talk gets even more confusing, as on the internet, there are two more turkeys named Bow and Tie, which one website identifies those two turkeys as the ones on the beds at the Willard Hotel….I give up, trying to get the straight of this story, and promise to leave the turkey subject alone for awhile. It is making me want to go fix a shot or two of Wild Turkey……. Reply Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.last_img read more