Kick back and relax on a short trip down the Wacissa River. Recent rains had darkened the water on our shoot day, but wildlife was out in full force. This segment aired on the February 16 episode of Local Routes.
Music in the video was provided by Brian Bowen. Thanks to Brian, and to Dave Murphy of Winterstone Sound for providing instrumental versions of Brian’s songs.
Rob Diaz de VillegasWFSU Media
“If I had to come back to the same place over and over again, I would pick the Wacissa,” Harry Smith told us as we paddled back to the boat ramp. Harry is an outfitter based out of Tallahassee’s Railroad Square. We spent the day kayaking with him, his wife, and a few friends. Retired FWC biologist Michael Hill came along to get in some fishing and share his knowledge of aquatic flora and fauna.
We dive into the Wacissa River with a team of scuba-diving archeologists. What did they find? And what do their findings mean within the larger picture of prehistoric Florida? Read on. Big thanks to David Ward and Robert Daniels of the Aucilla River Group for helping us arrange the shoot and transporting the crew to the site. And thanks to Hot Tamale, whose music is featured in the video.
Rob Diaz de VillegasWFSU-TV
Some time ago, possibly about 12,000 years or so, a group of hunters stopped by the Wacissa River and made some tools. They’re not likely to have self-identified as members of the Suwannee culture group, though that’s how archeologists classify them based on the way they crafted their spear points. These paleolithic humans left a mess of bone and rock on what may or may not have been a riverbank at the time. That refuse is of interest to Morgan Smith, a PhD. student at Texas A & M University. Continue reading →
When the video above aired on dimensions, several individuals in our community took note of a statement made by George Weymouth. He was explaining how hydrilla, an invasive plant species overtaking rivers in our state, had led to Limpkins entirely abandoning the Wakulla River (which has its source at Wakulla Springs). He said that herbicides used to control the plant led to a die off of apple snails, the limpkin’s main food source.
The reaction to this statement started me on a quest, with the several aforementioned individuals guiding me closer, and at times seemingly further, from an answer to what happened to the limpkins at Wakulla Springs.
Wednesday, January 18 at 7:30 PM/ ET, watch WFSU’s latest EcoAdventure on dimensions, as Green Guides George Weymouth, Jim Dulock, and Cynthia Paulson guide us down the Wacissa River. Birds, springs, and art- you can read more about that below, and enjoy this video looking at how George- a well known painter and sculptor in our area- creates his hyper-realistic works.
Rob Diaz de VillegasWFSU-TV
In the interest of being intensely accurate, George's painting area is surrounded by field guides and nature magazines.
George Weymouth is telling me how he is going to paint the ripples caused by a black-necked stilt’s (Himantopus mexicanus) wading in a river, and how the the avian subjects of his painting reflect over the disturbed water. When he’s done getting the shape of the bird’s body, and the general coloration, he’ll add various feathers- primaries, secondaries, and tercials; all located at the anatomically appropriate places on its body. Something occurred to me as I edited this footage into the above video: when I had accompanied George down the Wacissa River the week before, he was looking at whole different world than I was. A man who can accurately paint every feather on a bird is likely to have a unique perspective.