On every spring node, you might have noticed a designation for "magnitude" of that spring. It's one of the factors I take into consideration for designating a spring major, minor, or limited access. I have to admit though, even years into making this site I had no idea what it meant! I keep looking it up for reference, so I figured, why not post it here!
The magnitude of a spring isn't arbitrary or subjective in any way; it's actually a measurement of the output of water in cubic feet per second (ft3/s). Here are the official measurement ranges for each corresponding magnitude:
- 1st Magnitude: 100+ ft³/s
- 2nd Magnitude: 10 - 100 ft³/s
- 3rd Magnitude: 1 - 10 ft³/s
- 4th Magnitude: 100 gal/min - 1 ft³/s
- 5th Magnitude: 10 gal/min - 100 gal/min
- 6th Magnitude: 1 gal/min - 10 gal/min
- 7th Magnitude: 1 pint/min - 1 gal/min
- 8th Magnitude: <1 pint/min
These measurements were first used by Oscar Edward Meinzer in 1927 in Large Springs in the United States and has been used for every update of the Springs of Florida publication (which has been an invaluable resource to this site), including the 1947 edition (Ferguson et al.) and the 1977 edition (Rosenau et al.).
I use this primarily to tell if the spring is worth seeing in-person. Magnitudes 3-8 are generally the viewing springs, while 1-2 are generally going to be the swimming springs. It's not a hard rule by any means; in fact, many 3rd magnitude springs are very nice swimming holes. It's just one piece of the puzzle. The more you know!
I think it's time for a format change! Rather than leave myself with a huge amount of content to sort, post, and post everywhere, I'm going to start promoting the springs themselves to the front page as I visit them! That way if one of my trips takes me to, say, 25 springs (like my recent vacation), I can spread the love and information out over a much broader time-frame. I think (hope) this will make it a little easier to keep track of my happenings and will make it more manageable from my side of the street.
Don't worry! Photos will actually be more plentiful now, and I may even separate photo dumps from the spring pages, given that the springs will contain so much information that it may push the photos down the page somewhat. This should also give the page more of a "travelers" feel, which I think is what the site should scream anyway ;)
Oh and this is the first test of the LiveJournal Cross-poster Module, yay!
A recent fun trip to Ichetucknee Springs
Well, skipping ahead of my big blog article (forthcoming) about Clay County so I can do a quick write-up about my recent visit to Wekiwa. My friend Alan came to visit this weekend so I took him and my friend Rob to the park to swim (he'd never been to Florida before so I figured I'd introduce him to a close spring). Not a very note-worthy trip, but I had to buy sunscreen at the concessions area because I forgot my spray-on stuff at home.
The water at Wekiwa is still very nice to swim in due to its relative depth of about 6 feet all throughout the spring pool. I threw on my mask, fins, and snorkel and dove into the pool. I've never had much success going down into the trench/vent, but this time I did it about 15 times, looking all around the best I could. Here's a montage of some of those dives:
I took some other videos and underwater photographs, which are now posted on the Wekiwa Springs page (link below).
Short entry for me today, but an important one. Visitors of this site, I must beg and plead of you to place a link to this site on your own! I am getting next to no hits weekly and I'd like to become a decent source for information, photos, and news on the Florida Springs. Without linkbacks, I don't think that will ever happen.
Tell your friends! Ask them to link back to me! Link back yourself! Every little bit helps. And trust me, it will be much appreciated. I doubt this will reach many people, but I can hope right? More visitors = more motivation to make and keep this site awesome! Thank you very much anonymous visitors; after all, it's all for you guys.
It's open! Just got off the phone with Juniper directly who confirmed that the swimming area is indeed open. Somehow they managed to keep the park closed for the entire Summer season, but at least I can go experience it fully before it gets insanely cold. Expect pics and video this weekend! Woo!
Just got off the phone with Juniper Springs (352-625-3147). After months of delays, I was told that the tentative re-open date of the swimming area is this Friday, October 16. If it is, I will finally be able to go back and take some amazing shots with the D10. Can't wait! Juniper is quite possibly my favorite spring next to Alexander, so I'm very excited :)
Rock Springs resides within Kelly Park in Orange County, and it's one of the only county parks I've ever been to. The level of detail and care in the park is a step above most state parks, and I wonder if it's due to the fact that Orange County only has one spring park (not to mention the county is rather rich).
The park is also fairly cheap: for my friend and I, I paid $3. Renting a tube outside the park is a popular choice, but I don't recommend it; it's much more fun to float down the run in the water.
An attempt to show some above and some below the water.
Rock Springs actually pours from a cave to the south, then flows up through the woods to a diverted swimming area. If you continue down the run (which I did not know you could do until this visit), you can float another half mile or so before exiting at a bridge. Here's a small 90-second montage video of the run up until the diverted swimming area:
It was an ill-planned trip, like usual - I forgot sandals, my backpack, and pretty much had to painfully walk barefoot from the parking area up to the swimming area. I did remember sunscreen though! Do not forget sunscreen at the springs. Not all of you may need it, but as you can tell, I'm a whitey. Read more »
I've been to Ichetucknee a great many times, but it's been over a year since I've been down the run on a tube. Since the north end closes after Labor Day, I wanted to hit it up at least once (NOTE: the north launch is really the only reason to tube this spring run).
After much convincing of my friends to drive the 130+ miles from Orlando to the pocket of springs in the High Springs area (and waking them up at 5:30am so we could get a good start), we set off in the Jeep to Ichetucknee Springs.
Dane and Gerret, after grabbing some tubes.
Advice: Don't stop at the first tube store. They know they're the first and they price their tubes accordingly. Wait for the second or third; you'll have much less traffic at the tube shop and a slightly-cheaper price. I frequent the LOWE tube shop.
(More after the break) Read more »
A shot from the sandy area near the diving platform.
Not much to report here; waiting for my D10 to arrive sometime this week, I took three friends (Sly, Carl, and Kevin) to DeLeon Springs for a nice afternoon swim. Water is still cloudy as ever, still as many as kids, but the drive and the park were nice nonetheless.
I helped Sly practice diving down to the spring, did some edge diving with Carl and Kevin, and ruined my sinuses by diving to the bottom of the trench about six times.
Last night I finally broke down and ordered the:
Canon PowerShot D10 12.1 MP Waterproof Digital Camera with 3x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.5-inch LCD
This camera should provide some of the best underwater shots for the buck, not including a very nice video mode! Expect some much better shots in the future :)