I always have a guide book with me, and GPS of course.
Gordon is Driving and I’m Riding Shotgun
Old Vintage Postcards, Old Photographs….
Photos from my youth at Silver Springs
My Old Vintage Postcards of Silver Springs
(I’m just immersing myself in the past, present, and beauty of the springs that we are about to enjoy.)
Oh well, looks like we’re here.
Silver Springs to the left, Wild Waters to the right.
(I do have to say that Wild Waters is a pretty run down water park.)
Gordon Getting What we Need from the Trunk
There is a large parking area, we were able to park up close to the entrance.
We were here on a Sunday and got here by 10:00 a.m. and it really was a perfect time to arrive.
Welcome To Silver Springs
Gordon Heading Toward the Entrance
The Fountain Outside the Entrance
Admission to the park was just $2.00 per person. They also stamp your hand to allow you to re-enter the park if you need to get things out of your automobile, or if you rent any of the canoe’s or kayak’s.
Florida’s Silver Springs State Park 2016
Hey Gordon, Look out for that SNAKE!!
Right on Cue!
Just a word on snakes. We need them! They keep the rodent population down. This is a black racer and not a poisonous southern snake. There are good snakes, and bad snakes. Familiarize yourself with both so that you know which ones to avoid at all costs.
Swamp Mix to Munch on in the Park
(See Recipe Below)
Make sure that you take with you, some food to munch on, sun glasses, sunscreen, bug spray, (although we didn’t need any), and plenty of water to drink, also a hat or visor.
Nice cool and refreshing green grapes for this very hot day.
And a Bit of Nostalgia
I wanted to locate some of the areas where I once stood here so many years ago.
Found a Shady Spot
(There are actually lots of shady spots.)
Me, Munching on my Swamp Mix
I’m standing in an old Hollywood set where Sea Hunt was filmed.
Sea Hunt starred Lloyd Bridges and it ran from 1958 – 1961.
We were told by our tour guide on our glass bottom boat ride, that Lloyd Bridges was so scared of the snakes that he didn’t do much of the scuba diving in the movie. They got a stunt man to do it for him.
Look at the Blue Springs
Silver Springs First People
Osceola was born as Billy Powell and became an influential leader of the Seminole Indians in Florida. He was of mixed parentage. He was Creek, Scotch-Irish, and English, and he was raised as a Creek by his mother. The tribe had a matrilineal kinship system. They migrated to Florida when Billy was a child, with the other Red Stick refugees, after their defeat in 1814 in the Creek Wars.
In 1836, Osceola led a small band of warriors in the Seminole resistance during the Second Seminole War, when the United States tried to remove the tribe from their lands in Florida. He became adviser to Micanopy, the principal chief of the Seminole from 1825-1849. Osceola led the war resistance until he was captured in September 1837 by deception, under a flag of truce, when he went to a US fort for peace talks. Because of his renown, Osceola attracted visitors as well as leading portrait painters. He died a few months later in prison at Fort Moultrie in Charleston, South Carolina, of causes reported as an internal infection or malaria.
You will see lots of boating whether they be private boats, rentals, or the glass bottom boats.
Our Charming Boat Captain on our Glass Bottom Boat
Although none of us were wearing the life jackets, they have plenty located right above us in the boat.
Boaters tend to acknowledge other boaters as a courtesy. By doing so you are acknowledging their presence, thus letting them know that you see them, and will not run into them. 🙂
You will see lots of alligator’s swimming by. We must have seen about 30 or more.
Renting The Kayaks
You can rent them by the hour or by the day at the park. Single kayaks, double kayaks, and canoe’s.
The Kayak’s are Easier to Manouver
This is the Kayak Launch
I do have to say that no one gave us any instructions whatsoever on how to maneuver the kayak’s. I was listening closely to one of the guides that was hired by a family, so that I knew what to do. Gordon however, was paying and missed out on those instructions. He almost tipped over. 🙂
I was so spooked by all the alligator’s in the spring that when a dragon fly landed on my hand I screamed bloody murder!
Gordon thought a gator got me. Nope, just a dragon fly. 🙂
I am very proud of these photos that I took.
It’s wonderful seeing these mini-dinosaurs in their natural habitat.
Treat them with the greatest of respect.
Gotta Look Out for Those Gators
Two Alligators on a Log
Alligators Always Swimming By
I LOVE these beautiful trees!
If it’s weren’t for the “knees”, they would topple over.
See Those Knobby Knees?
The Beautiful Flowers and Foliage in the Springs
Hiding in the Cypress Trees Knees
Look out for the Dreaded Log-O-Sauras
I do love the Spanish Moss, I think it looks rather charming and spooky at the same time.
See the White Flower? It’s a Swamp Lily.
The Silver Springs Monkey’s
If you look closely you can see a female with her baby hanging on for dear life.
The babies scream a lot, but it’s really cute.
This is a troupe of about 24 monkey’s. A few babies were among them. They were so cute!
You know, it’s one thing to see monkey’s at the zoo, and entirely other to see them in the wild.
That’s not something that you ever forget.
In the 1930s Colonel Tooey, a concessionaire who operated the “Jungle Cruise” boat ride, established the first troop of wild rhesus monkeys on an island in the Silver River. He planned to use the attraction of the colony as one of the sights on his Jungle Cruise, but did not know that the rhesus monkeys were excellent swimmers. They quickly escaped the island, forming their own feral troops along the river. Rhesus monkeys are still seen along the river.
They are protected and tracked for their safety. The only time that a human will intervene is when one of them is very sick and needs help. Otherwise, they are left alone. People are not to feed them.
The Seven Swans was filmed at Silver Springs in 1916, but it was not until 1932 that the location become popular as a filming hot-spot. It was the location for filming of Tarzan the Ape Man, featuring Johnny Weissmuller. During the 1930s and early 1940s, five more of these original Tarzan movies were filmed at Silver Springs.
(As taken from the Wikipedia source listed above.)
My Favorite Monkey
I’m really proud of this picture but I don’t know why? Perhaps it’s his regal profile.
Silver Springs through the years
1932: Tarzan The Ape-Man, with Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O’Sullivan
1934: Tarzan and His Mate
1936: Tarzan Escapes
1939: Tarzan Finds A Son
1941: Tarzan’s Secret Treasure
1942: Tarzan’s New York Adventure
Bird’s Nest up High
The Beautiful Blue Heron
Hard to see, but Beautiful!
I Love The Cormorants
They constantly swim underwater and you will occasionally see them stick their heads above water in order to get a breath of air.
The brave little swimmers.
The Creature From The Black Lagoon
Julie Adams as Kay in The Creature From the Black Lagoon
I can’t believe that Julie Adams swam with all those alligators.
Ben Chapman with Julie Adams
Could this be The Rita?
Nah, too small.
The Rita from the movie, The Creature From the Black Lagoon
Julie Adam’s was quite lovely as Kay.
Julie Adams was a very good swimmer and very athletic for her time. I really do admire that.
I also can’t believe that the “creature” would breathe through a tube for hours underwater. Most of the time holding his breath.
I mean, WOW!!
Oh, and did Julie Adams invent halter tops? She sure did rock them!
The creature climbing onto the boat.
I love this movie, it is an old favorite. How I do love the classics!
I leave you with this, the lovely Julie Adams in fish net.
Our Park MENU
Green, Green, and Green
Our Kayak Lunch
(To Snack On)
Chicken From The Black Lagoon Salad
on Pumpernickel or Deli Swirl Rye Bread
With Some Greens
Gordon’s Creature Pasta Salad
I hate to say it but by the time Gordon started making this I was headed to BED! We had to get up early and I needed my rest so Gordon made the “Swamp Fruit” without my photographing it.
But it was DELICIOUS!!
This Ended up Being the Best Lunch
It was light, it was delicious, and it was easy.
It was a bit tricky to eat in a kayak though. 🙂
Maybe we should have made the sandwiches ahead of time. 🙂
Recipes For Our ‘Creature From the Black Lagoon’ Day
Some of these recipes are very simple and we just made them look differently than they normally would in order to fit the theme.
These foods were more about creativity and not originality.
Although Gordon did create the delicious ‘Creatures Pasta Salad’, and the ‘Swamp Fruit’ himself.
Silver Springs Landing
Find the Alligator!
I think a turtle just ducked underneath the water.
At least I HOPE SO!
(This was my idea.)
(A.K.A. Chex Party Mix)
I have to say that Chex Party Mix is probably my most favorite thing to snack on. I also prefer to carry it with me whenever we do any sort of all day activity as it is very buttery, tangy, tasty, salty and crunchy. Everything I love in a snack, that will keep me satisfied all day.
Chex Party Mix Ingredients
(Although I did end up omitting the Goldfish Crackers and the Cheez It’s.)
I used two different pans because I wanted to make the traditional Chex Party Mix, except with an interesting twist.
I know that most people are familiar with the recipe but for those that aren’t, you melt about a stick of butter/margarine in a pan in the oven until melted. Then you add your Worcestershire Sauce, I always add more than it says to because I love it so much. Then I sprinkle in some Season All, seasoning salt. Next, just dump into this delicious mixture a series of cereals, peanuts, pretzels, whatever you like.
Stir everything together making sure that everything is coated well, then just place in a 250F oven for about an hour. But you do want to take it out of the oven every 15 minutes and give it a good stir so that the cereal doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan and burn.
When Done Remove From Oven and Set Aside to Cool
In the batch above I withheld the Rice Chex.
I wanted to cook the Rice Chex separately.
This is where the creativity comes into play.
I melted the butter in the pan in the oven, added the usual Worcestershire Sauce and seasoning salt, and then I added something special.
Green Food Coloring!
Bake this batch the same as the other batch, then let cool.
Combine Both Batches
Place into plastic food bags and try adding a sticker.
Childish perhaps? Or maybe just FUN!
Perfect Drink for the Occasion
Although we made sure that we had plenty of water and other sports related drinks that replenish what your body looses when your outdoors for the day, we wanted something very appropriate to drink with our canoe lunch.
Try removing the labels to show the lovely green color to these fruit and veggies drinks and you have a very nice drink for your adventure. Be sure to add a green straw.
Black Lagoon Chicken Salad Sandwiches
This was also my idea and again, the only difference was that I added green food coloring to my chicken salad recipe.
Boiling the Chicken in a Pot on the Stove Top
I bring the water to boil and simmer away, turning the chicken over a few times during cooking, until the meat is falling off the bone. Cooking time is about 45 minutes or so on a medium-high heat.
Only then is it done.
I love how it smells and just warms up the kitchen.
When it’s done then remove the chicken from the pot and set aside into a colander that is sitting in a bowl.
This allows the liquid to drain and the chicken to cool.
Monk to my left, Sugar to my right, and me and chicken in the middle.
Never fails, they do love chicken!
I love my chicken salad recipe because I do use an entire chicken. I think a combination of the white and dark meat is the best.
It is some work though because I do have to pick it apart after it is cooked, removing the bones, cartilage, fat and skin.
Next I place all the meat onto a cutting board and chop into small bite sized pieces.
Don’t Discard the Broth
Let cool and then strain, then place into a freezer safe bowl and you have enough broth for all that Thanksgiving and Christmas cooking.
Making My Black Lagoon Chicken Salad
I have featured my chicken salad before on our website.
I cannot even begin to give you a recipe as I don’t really measure anything. I go by sight and taste. It also depends on how large the chicken is that I have cooked to determine accurate measurements of the other ingredients.
In the bowl at left are my chopped cooked chicken, some chopped onions, and some chopped celery.
The photo at right is of my hard boiled eggs that I add to the chicken salad. I always add 2.
I then just add mayonnaise to coat the chicken, then some yellow mustard for taste, some freshly ground black pepper, about 7 – 10 dashes of Tabasco Sauce, some pickle relish, my hard boiled eggs chopped, and a few teaspoons of some really sweet pickle juice for taste.
When you have combined all of your ingredients then add the
GREEN FOOD COLORING
A beautiful Bed of Greens and some Pumpernickel Rye Bread is Perfect for the Green Chicken Salad
Gordon’s Creature Pasta Salad
My inspiration was the bug pasts, then I wanted everything to be green and still taste good. It turned out to be mainly Italian items and tasted great!
1 package Bug Pasta
1 package Spinach Fettuccine Pasta
1 chopped Poblano Pepper
1 chopped in rings Banana Pepper
1/2 can Green Olives
1 jar grilled Artichoke Hearts chopped
1 jar marinated Artichoke Hearts chopped
2 Tbsp Pesto
3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 cup Parmesan, Romano and Asiago Cheese mixed
zest of 1 Lemon
juice of 1 Lemon
2 Tbsp chopped Chives
2 Tbsp chopped Basil
Pepper to taste
You will notice I didn’t add any extra salt as the cheeses and pesto added plenty.
Bug Shaped Pasta and Spinach Fettuccine
The Bug Pasta Shapes were my idea and everything else revolved around them.
The Crazy Bugs are Macaroni and Cheese, but we only wanted them for the bug shaped pasta, we didn’t use the cheese.
Fresh Herbs from our Garden and Poblano and Banana Peppers
Gordon hollowed out the banana pepper but cutting off the top and removing the insides. This will allow him to cut the pepper into ovals.
Originally, Gordon wanted the Poblano pepper cut into strips, but realized small chunks would work better in this.
Banana Pepper Rings
Chopped Poblano Peppers
Boiling Both Our Pastas on the Stove Top
Our Crazy Bugs in one, Our Spinach Fettuccine in Another
While the pastas are cooking, Gordon is combining our peppers into a bowl.
Gordon Adding the Pesto
Time to Drain the Pasta into Colanders
Now Add Both Your Pastas to the Peppers and Pesto
Drain a can of olives, then add to the pasta mixture
We wanted the olives whole instead of chopped, we thought in a way they looked like eyes.
Gordon drained a jar of grilled artichoke hearts, and a jar of marinated artichoke hearts.
Chopped them up into bite sized pieces, then added them to the pastas.
Here Gordon is adding some olive oil and some balsamic vinegar.
Grate in some lemon zest and the juice of a whole lemon.
Grating in some freshly ground black pepper
This is a sprinkling of Parmesan, Romano, and Asiago Cheeses.
Now Come the Herbs
Chopping Green and Purple Basil from our Garden
Chopping the Chives and Adding to Our Pastas
This will make a great bed for this pasta salad.
Delicious Creature Pasta Salad
We also stopped off at Ross Allen Reptile Institute in Silver Springs as well.
It is now closed. But I do remember this. My friend Lynn wouldn’t sit on the turtle but I wasn’t afraid to.