Sunday, April 20, 2008

Today's Visit To Silver Springs

Spent the day at one of our favorite hang outs - Silver Springs. It's about a 90 minute drive from where we live. This is part of the Silver River & it is fed from a natural spring. 550+ million gallons of fresh 99% pure water is pressed through the limestone from the Florida aquifer 15,000 feet below each day. Some of the limestone gets forced through the holes onto the river bottom & when it picks up the sunlight, it's shiny like silver - hence the name. The picture of the fish is at one of the spring feeds, you can see the bottom in the shot, 88 feet below.

There are 3 groups of glass bottom boats, operated by the park, that travel through the Silver River & tributaries. Each ride takes about 30 minutes & the cost is covered in the admission price. (We have a season pass - about $100 total, unlimited visits.) During the rides you see gators, turtles, snakes, wild birds, cyprus swamps, & lots of fish. There is also some entertainment history to check out.

Because the water is absolutely perfectly clear, SS has been used as a set location for several movies including the Tarzan flicks of the 30's, The Creature From The Black Lagoon in the 50's, and the underwater battles in some of the early James Bond movies. On the small screen, the TV show Sea Hunt, & at least one episode of I Spy with Bill Cosby were made there. The list is longer but this will have to do.

Inside the remainder of the 365 acre park are animal exhibits, botanical gardens, quaint little shops & eateries. All of that will be covered in another post.

Overall, today couldn't have been better.

By the way - notice the turtle being leaned on by the young gator? He's hanging out in one of the swamps - looks like pea soup.