Saturday, March 27, 2010

A picnic with the manatees

I've been meaning to post about our fairly recent picnic at Blue Spring State Park. I wrote about it last year here. This year my mother in law asked if she could come with us to see the manatees so she drove up to come with us. Also my son in law had also expressed interest in going so he and Jen met us there as well.

It was a beautiful day. A welcome retreat from the cold we have been experiencing and the sky was amazingly clear. I packed a picnic lunch with all kinds of goodies and we stopped at the grocery store just down the street from the park and got some great fried chicken. DSC08115 This is Jen enjoying some fresh strawberries. I also brought mangos, oranges and watermelon ~ I love me some fresh fruit!

Richard and the kids played frisbee DSC08123 I tried to get a picture of them in mid jump, which while not completely successful was pretty darn funny DSC08177

I delivered the completed Snoopy quilt to Jen and Jeremy. This will go on the spare bed in the nursery. DSC08118 They were pleased with how it turned out.

It was great to spend some time with Jen and my future grandbaby ~ who is quite the little squiggly worm. DSC08127

The park and the springs are just beautiful DSC08133 Actually if you click on the above picture and view the larger size, you will be able to see an alligator basking on the bank. We saw several while we were there... and yes, they coexist quite well with the manatees.

Of course, that is the hi light of the day, seeing all the manatees. DSC08139 As you can see you can get quite close to them DSC08161 although you are not allowed to get into the water with them.

The manatees flock by the 100's to warmer water of the springs during the winter. This year it was so cold we lost quite a few of them, which is such a shame. They are very cool animals.

Once the manatees start leaving the park (right around the end of March) the springs are open for the public to swim in. They have stairs that go right into the water. DSC08154 And while the water is very clear I'm not sure I would be comfortable going in. You see the manatees may leave when the weather warms up but I can pretty much guarantee the gators don't. And while I love seeing gators out in the wild, I don't think I want to swim with them.

In any case, it was a great day. Everyone enjoyed seeing the manatees up close and personal DSC08134
And we all enjoyed spending the day with each other DSC08124


Monnik said...

Wow - great pictures. That park looks amazing! Such different scenery than around here. :)

The quilt looks great too!

Sandra :) said...

I don't think that would be my choice of a swimming hole - I'm afeared of gators, LOL ... YIKES!

Lovely quilt for the wiggly worm --- pretty soon you'll be posting pictures of bebeh wrapped IN the quilt ... in grandma's arms!!

Michele said...

Eh, I don't think the gators would bother me. At least in the spring you'd be able to see them.

I grew up on Lake Okeechobee, and many times while wading/fishing I would step over a "log" going one way and it would be gone when I cam back! NONE of my dad's fishing buddies were ever bothered by a gator - although one got his leg sliced open by an otter going for the fish on his string.

The manatees are definitely very cool animals, and it certainly looks like everybody had a Fine Day Out.

Miss Healthypants said...

Oh, I'm always so jealous of the beautiful nature and interesting wildlife that you have access to, down there in Florida--I'm even jealous of your proximity to alligators. *smiles*

Beautiful pictures! :)