Closely related to the elephant, the manatee is Florida’s state marine mammal. “Gentle giants,” as they are called…

The Florida manatee is an endangered species. But this post is not about that. It’s about going to Blue Springs State Park to see this amazing, gentle, huge and slow creature up close and personal. As a surprise on Saturday, Chris woke the family up to do just that. Commune with nature.

It was cool! Not only is Blue Springs State Park a beautiful and well-kept state park, it’s bustling with activity–of all varieties.

Florida manatees spend their days floating down the St. John’s river. The conditions (except for those boaters) are just right. Except in the winter. According to Eco Florida Mag:

Manatees thrive in warm water. At temperatures below 68 degrees F, manatees stop eating, suffer cold stress and oftentimes die. This is why they migrate to the coastal areas, rivers, canals and estuaries in Florida and southern Georgia during winter. They especially prefer the slow-moving rivers and shallow coves and bays where there are warm springs and lush sea grass beds.

This is how hundreds of manatees end up at Blue Springs every Jan. and Feb. They truly are gentle giants. Such boring, yet interesting creatures!

We had such a great day. The weather was cool, but not uncomfortable. The location was beautiful. The boys were well-behaved not horrible. I would have to give Chris kudos for this idea, and highly recommend Blue Springs State Park to anyone living in central Florida.

For the slideshow below, move your mouse across the top black bar for slidehow controls; move your mouse across the bottom black bar for thumbnails. And enjoy! 🙂

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

This post was generously brought to you by wall fountains. I wonder if I’ll ever have a house where I could even consider having one. 😉


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3 Comments on “Our day with the manatees”

  1. A couple of years ago there was talk of ‘importing’ some of these manatees to assist with the problem we had with water hyacinth in the dams and rivers at the time here in South Africa. I do not think anything ever came of this idea. Nice photos and an interesting article all round.

    • Wow, that would be interesting. I wonder if it would have worked. It’s always pretty risky ‘importing’ a foreign species into an established ecosystem. The poor manatees here are endangered, so relocating them might not be such a bad idea.

      They have no natural enemies except man (and boaters who go too fast).

  2. Having grown up in Florida, I’m very familiar with these interesting creatures! Sounds like you guys had a great day and those are fantastic photos!


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