Blue Springs State Park in North Florida


Nicknamed “Crystal Blue Persuasion,” this photograph was taken by artist Muffy Gill on a trip to Ruth B. Kirby Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park in 2020. It was the inspiration for a piece in her “Agua” series of artwork.

Nicknamed “Crystal Blue Persuasion,” this {photograph} was taken by artist Muffy Gill on a visit to Ruth B. Kirby Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park in 2020. It was the inspiration for a chunk in her “Agua” collection of paintings.

Not too long ago I returned to one in all my favourite Florida state parks: Ruth B. Kirby Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park. Though Florida has lots of its well-known crystal blue springs as state parks, Blue Springs is the park I’ve visited probably the most. Positioned 5 miles west of the town of Excessive Springs, this former personal campground was bought a number of years in the past by the state of Florida and is slowly going by the method of updating and enhancing its fragile infrastructure. I first visited the park in December 2020, waking up one morning to a temperature of 26 levels — for Florida, that’s chilly!

At the moment, I photographed many lovely scenes which were the continuation of what I name my “Agua,” or water collection of paintings. My picture I name “Crystal Blue Persuasion.” I returned this time hoping to see if I would seize extra distinctive views.

The park has 18 RV websites and plenty of wooded tent campsites. It additionally has a number of picnic pavilions, picnic tables and a run-down tub home for day customers in addition to the campground. The concessionaire gives snacks in addition to canoes, kayaks, and paddle board leases.

The artist’s husband, Gill, and their pet dog Mia take a break along the Santa Fe River. The park’s concessionaire provides snacks as well as canoes, kayaks and paddle board rentals.

The artist’s husband, Gill, and their pet canine Mia take a break alongside the Santa Fe River. The park’s concessionaire gives snacks in addition to canoes, kayaks and paddle board leases.

Right here’s the dangerous information: Cell service is minimal, and the RV campsites go away one thing to be desired. If you end up tenting with an RV, circumstances are optimum when the electrical provide and water are subsequent to one another and the location itself is stage: On this campground, it’s not one of the above. We shoehorned our manner into our campsite at a diagonal to attempt to cope with this drawback as greatest we may. The tent tenting space options spacious campsites which are shady and stage. Phrase has it that they may finally be shifting the RV websites there sooner or later. The one benefit of the campsites — they’re near the primary attraction — the attractive blue spring.

The spring space options a big swimming space with a sandy seaside — it slowly drops off to a collection of underwater limestone cabinets that lead about 30-feet right down to the boil, or headwaters of the spring. The water’s shade begins off as a lightweight turquoise blue, then turns into a deeper shade, nearly a navy blue because it will get deeper. The spring maintains a year-round temperature of 72 levels, so it’s actually refreshing whenever you make the leap and dive into the crystal-clear water. My favourite time of the day to {photograph} is at dawn when the seaside and spring are quiet.

While canoeing the Santa Fe River, clusters of turtles are spotted sunning themselves on a fallen tree. The river’s smaller springs dot the riverbanks. MUFFY CLARK GILL / COURTESY PHOTOS

Whereas canoeing the Santa Fe River, clusters of turtles are noticed sunning themselves on a fallen tree. The river’s smaller springs dot the riverbanks. MUFFY CLARK GILL / COURTESY PHOTOS

The swimming space presently of yr was crowded if not jammed filled with individuals — many are returnees from the numerous years the park was personal.

We rented a canoe so we may take our canine, Mia, with us as we paddled alongside the Santa Fe River. Kayak and canoe leases share the doorway to the seaside, and is derived, and made it a problem to get our canoe into the water so we may proceed down the spring run to the river. As soon as we have been previous the swimming space, the attractive clear waters opened, and we may see all types of fish and vegetation that helps to maintain the clear waters of the springs.

We headed upstream on the Santa Fe River for about an hour, passing many smaller springs that dotted the riverbanks. They too have been crystal clear as they bubbled up from the limestone aquifers.

These largely personal springs had some attention-grabbing names as nicely: Lily, Bare, Poe, Ginnie. Clusters of turtles sunned themselves on each fallen tree as we handed by. We appreciated the quiet of the river in comparison with the cacophony of the swimming space.

After lunch we hiked our favourite path that winds alongside previous a number of springs close to the river and passes a number of enormous cypress bushes. I later took a dip within the cool waters after most of the day-trippers had left and shot a number of footage with my cellphone in an underwater case. Among the photographs have been very summary, however I cherished the colours — they supplied new inspiration. Sooner or later I’ll create some new paintings with these little snippets of data and shade. Keep tuned! You can too go to my web site and join my newsletters to comply with my adventures in artwork and journey.

Ruth B. Kirby Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park has excessive visitation on weekends and holidays and closes when capability is reached. When this happens, solely registered campers are allowed to enter. Money and bank cards are accepted for entrance payment. For info, go to www.floridastateparks.org. ¦

— Muffy Clark Gill is an award- successful batik and combined media artist and photographer based mostly in Naples. Observe her at mcgilltropicalart.com, Instagram:@ muffyclarkgill or on Fb@ MuffyClarkGillFineArt to study extra about her artwork and travels.





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