The Springs at Salt Springs & a Bearded Tooth

The swimming area at Salt Springs.  You can see where the water springs up from the vents in the rocks.

The swimming area at Salt Springs. You can see where the water springs up from the vents in the rocks.

It’s another chilly, damp, grey day at Salt Springs.  Our high today was 55.  At home it got up to 59.  That’s not how central Florida is supposed to be!

One of the spring vents in the rock

One of the spring vents in the rock

Nevertheless, the area is still beautiful, even though we are spending most of the day inside the Casita.  Fortunately, today is one of the days we are getting a decent Verizon signal, so at least we can entertain ourselves surfing.

When we were at the springs we saw a huge school of mullet.  Mullet like to jump, and I missed several shots of them leaping out above the surface.  I did capture one slightly murky shot of the school, though.

School of mullet

School of mullet

The trees surrounding the swimming area are ancient.  And bordering the picnic area is a virtual jungle.  It has a very exotic feel to it.

When we were here before, in September 2010, the weather was hot and sunny.  We went swimming, and at the time the 72 degree water felt icy to us.  Today I bet 72 would feel warm!

My brother-in-law told me that many years (decades) ago, he and a few buddies would come down to Salt Springs and dive into the vents to catch blue crabs that clung to the rocks down there.  Now, of course, you can’t do that.  But at least the springs are still there!

Another view of the swimming area

Another view of the swimming area

If you would like to see what the springs look like when the sun is shining, you can see photos of our previous trip to Salt Springs here.

One more totally off-topic thing I’d like to add.  I have been fruitlessly searching for a bearded tooth mushroom back home.  A couple of days ago my sister Hope sent me a photo of a big “thing” that she found in a tree behind her house.  At first she thought it was a small cat curled up in the tree.  Then she was afraid it was some kind of weird egg sac and who-knows-what would jump out at her!

Incredibly, it turned out to be a bearded tooth mushroom!  And since I hadn’t expected to find one when I visited her, I hadn’t even checked out the trees on her place.  So I missed out on that incredibly choice mushroom!

Fishing for mullet

Fishing for mullet

Vegetation-covered tree around spring area

Vegetation-covered tree around spring area

Old trees around spring area

Old trees around spring area

Jungle bordering spring area

Jungle bordering spring area

Bearded tooth mushroom

Bearded tooth mushroom

 

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14 Comments

  1. Camilla

     /  December 13, 2012

    I think if I had seen that growing on a tree I’d have to run! Looks like a zombie pod or something ;c)

    I can see all the fish in that photo!

    • If I didn’t know what it was I would give it a WIDE berth, too! 😀

      The fish were amazing. When we were here before, there were swimmers in that area so the fish stayed farther out. I was surprised that they would swim down into the vents. Maybe they were after algae?

  2. That mushroom is AMAZING! While an undergraduate, I dated a really sweet guy who was getting his doctorate in mushroom-ology (I know that’s not the proper term. Fungologist?).

    I was too pea-brained at the time to see how fascinating that area of study would be. Now I get it.

    • Mycologist. I wish I had run into one back in my dating days! 😀

      I used to think mushrooms were disgusting. Some of the fungi truly are, but mushrooms are so diverse. I now find many of them incredibly beautiful. And they are always fascinating photo subjects.

  3. Wthe things you lea on the internet!
    I don’t think that mushroom was even listed in the book on mushrooms I got through Amazon. Amazing!

  4. Bearded tooth mushroom how interesting. Never heard of that one before. All your pictures are great.

  5. When I saw the photos of the trees, I thought I was looking at scenes from a science fiction movie. They could film there and not have to build any sets!

    That mushroom is just about the weirdest thing I have ever seen! Until your blog I never gave much thought to mushrooms except for buying the baby bellas that come nicely packaged in the store. We get some white ones in the yard, but that tree mushroom really takes the prize!! I never knew such a thing existed!!! Does it just keep growing? Does it harm the tree? I’m going to check the internet!

    • Kathy, the trees do have an otherworldly feeling about them!

      I don’t have my books with me, but I believe the bearded tooth (and related mushrooms) grow on the wounds of living trees and also on dead trees. If I remember correctly, they may cause a slow heartwood rot in the trees. I don’t believe they grow on healthy trees. They are universally rated as a superb edible.

      BTW, do NOT eat the white mushrooms in your yard unless you have someone positively identify them for you. They may be destroying angel amanitas, and if so, they are deadly.

  6. cozygirl

     /  December 14, 2012

    That mushroom is amazing…never seen anything like that!

  7. lynne

     /  December 14, 2012

    Loved the first spring PICT! And all the mushroom info. Amazing world we have in nature!

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