The Florida State Park Plein Air Painting Tour – Painting each of Florida's State Parks on location
We arrived at Wakulla Springs mid-day on a Saturday afternoon. The spring area was packed with teenagers swimming and diving off the platform. There was another viewing platform near the boat docks, and the water here looked black and stained like most rivers in Florida. We couldn’t see where the main spring was, but there was a swift current was flowing underneath the concrete dock.
I chose a spot to paint looking through the fence towards a cypress tree downriver, which happened to be in the full sun! There is no fishing allowed in the spring or the river, so Rick took a scenic boat ride while I painted. The cypress trees along the river are very large and ancient looking. As Rick toured the river they were able to spot many birds, alligators, turtles and even some manatees. Further downstream the river is blocked off from kayakers and boat traffic, so the only way to see this part of the river is by the tour boats. This may also be why the wildlife sightings are so good!
It was getting awfully hot, so to cool off we toured the historic lodge that dates back to 1937. Walking through the lodge, you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. It still has much of the character of the old days with old pecky cypress ceilings with hand painted scenes and a long marble soda fountain in a sunroom overlooking the springs. There is also a case with old Joe, the popular large alligator who was mysteriously killed one day.
It’s a pretty park with lots of wildlife to see if you take the boat tour.
For more information about this park, visit their website.