Friday, March 13, 2009

Florida animal life

I've been to Florida several times and this trip was the first that didn't involve our kids. Number 1 lives in Queens now and Number 2 is in college. It was a relaxing vacation due to the fact that it didn't include any amusement parks. Well, we did go to Downtown Disney but that's not a park. This trip was more about nature. A fellow blogger that I read, Avitable, did a post stating that he was going to Blue Springs State Park to see manatees. While he didn't do a follow up as to how it was it sounded like something I'd like so off we went while we where down there.

While at Blue Springs we took a boat tour where we saw beautiful birds, alligators, manatee, trees, feral pigs and learned a lot too.

While I really dislike the stuff that hangs in the trees it looks good here. In the water along the shore line are manatee. More about them later.

We don't have alligators in New York so I find it exciting when I see some. Maybe I'm easily amused. These were along the bank of the St. John's River. Maybe a year or so old.

More gators on the bank. These are called fingerlings and are still being cared for by mom. No doubt she was somewhere close. No way I'd get off the boat.

They almost don't look real.

He looks happy sunning himself, maybe thinking about his next snack.

This area was where the spring is and the water is a constant 72 degrees. That's why the manatee hang here in the winter. There's a boardwalk that runs along the shore allowing you to view them. The water was so clear, it seemed like you could reach out and touch these gars. They were hanging out with the manatees. The day we were there the park staff counted 30 manatee in residence and said that in January they had about 200 and were packed in like sardines.

Manatees are also called sea cows. They really don't do much except eat and sleep. They spend a lot of time eating and when they're finished they go into what's called a food coma. That's why so many are injured by boat props. They are so deeply asleep they don't hear or see an oncoming boat. When they do move there's nothing fast about it. Very languid.

While on the cruise they stopped the boat and one manatee came up for a look at us. He stuck his face out of the water right below me. Of course by the time I got my camera ready he was headed back underwater.

What I love about the manatee is they're like an ugly duckling. Not so much to look at but I think they're cute. They're gentle and peaceful animals.They have no predators and are herbivores themselves. Do you know their closest living relative? If you guess the elephant you'd be correct. It was a great trip to Blue Spring and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys peace and quiet along with nature.

I'd like to say I took this pic but alas I didn't. I want to include it because my photos weren't so great and I wanted you to see how friendly they seem.


Anonymous said...

This was a very intresting blog!Thanks for posting it i learned alot of my state project.