Howell Branch creek starts at Lake Maitland and flows into Lake Waumpi. From there it’s called Howell Creek as it goes through Lake Howell and then wanders east and north to empty into Lake Jessup. It passes within a half mile of our home in Winter Springs.
I’ve driven by this spot below in Maitland many times, but didn’t realize it’s on the same waterway:
Howell Creek – Where it crosses Lake Howell Road. A small dam there creates a lovely little waterfall / rapid. I’ve driven by it for years and finally made a photo.
I never stopped before because there’s no obvious parking nearby. But Lynn volunteered to drive me over, drop me off (and come back and pick me up too!). So off we went…
My plan was to make a few images from down near the water with a wide angle lens, maybe up close to the dam. But several “No Trespassing” signs scuttled that. I stayed up on the bridge by the road and made my images from there. I’m glad I brought my 24 – 200 mm (eq.) lens too – the reach came in handy!
Several people walked by while I was there and mentioned how pretty the view is. They talked about wading birds and the otter family they see there. I didn’t see any otters, but a Great Egret eventually wandered into my frame. I was lucky it stayed still while I made a long exposure to blur the water. When Lynn saw the photo, she thought it needed a dark colored bird – I should’ve waited for an anhinga!
Wind caused some blurring in the leaves and Spanish moss. I was also worried the vibration caused by trucks on the road behind me would shake my tripod and blur things. I made several frames just in case and this one came out pretty well.
Research indicates there was a water powered mill located just up stream from this dam in the mid 1800s. And I found an old article in the Orlando Sentinel, saying that the first dam in this spot was built around 1900. One story says residents blew up the dam during a hurricane and replaced it later. Apparently, a more durable one was built in the 1950s and was replaced by the current dam in 1979 when Orange County widened Howell Branch Road.
It doesn’t seem like I’ve used other photos of Howell Creek in the blog before, so I’ll end this post with two older images from closer to our home in Winter Springs.
Howell Creek infra red (October 2013)
Howell Creek bed and reflections (October 2013)
Thanks for stopping by and reading my blog. Now – stop somewhere you’ve been passing by and make some photos!
©2013 and 2019, Ed Rosack. All rights reserved
6 thoughts on “Howell Creek”
Ed, you take great photos and I also enjoy your narratives. You should put together a photographer’s travelogue: ” Looking at Florida through a lens.” Best.
What a nice comment Jack – thank you! Lynn says I should do something like that too, but so far it’s stuck in the “get ‘round to it “ pile.
Looks like a scene from New England instead of central Florida! Very nice job visualizing the image and then producing such a pleasing result!
Too bad you couldn’t take Lynn’s suggestion on adding a dark-colored bird. Personally, I would have held out for a Roseate Spoonbill to give the shot some added “pop”.
(Heading over to your Flickr page just as soon as more coffee is brewed …)
Thanks Wally. You’re right, a spoonbill would’ve been even better!
I’m going to check your Flickr out too.
Ed, excellent article/post. I like your passion for the creek. Yesterday I rode with a friend up to the Orlando Country Club, Spring Lake, where Howell Creek is initially seen. It actually may originate in the large wetlands upstream of that lake. Then it flows through Orlando and Winter Park, over the dam and in Seminole County and then to Lake Jesup and the St. Johns. What a “creek” watershed it is too, with so many native species and historic places along its way. Once a group of us walked near its confluence with Lake Jesup; talk about primal! Forest
Thank you Forest.
It’s an interesting waterway and surprisingly wide ranging and diverse. I’ve never tried to make it all the way out to where it runs into Lake Jesup. Maybe someday…