Ray Wayside Boat Basin in Ocala, Florida

It was a nice surprise to wake up without a plan and end up with my family at the Ray Wayside Boat Basin (the one right under the big bridge over Silver River on Highway 40 going out to the Ocala National Forest). We used to go there more when I was younger. When my brother had a boat, we’d launch from there and go fishing up the Silver River or just for a nice afternoon ride looking at the alligators and monkeys.

No boat today, but the kids had their fishing poles and we sat at the water’s edge enjoying the insanely nice day in the shade of the trees. The basin seemed much cleaner and quieter than the last few times I had been down there. The weather’s been so unpredictable that we just got out of 30 to 50 degree days to today in the mid-70s. Blue skies, a few nice breezes… we’ll take a nice spring day in the middle of January.

The kids caught a few bream, river crud, and themselves… no one died. That’s always good. We had two red-shouldered hawks circling the basin for a while early on, had a pileated woodpecker fly through a few times, and a beautiful kingfisher hanging out in some low-hanging branches. My brother put up with all of us adults talking while he was probably trying to just relax.

It was nice taking Fritzy out and he seemed to really enjoy being petted by everyone, including random groups of people loading their kayaks and canoes into the river.

Going out here was a nice reminder that we have some fun outdoors areas nearby us and that I need to take advantage of them. I took the D90, which tends to be my travel camera these days, with the Nikon 35mm F/1.8 G and the Sigma 50mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro and grabbed a few shots. It’s been forever since I’ve shot with the macro but it made me want to start pulling it out more. All photos are processed in Lightroom with VSCO.

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