Manatee Dreams

When the weather turns chilly, the gentle giants known as the manatee head inland to the warmer springs to wait out the colder temperatures.  It is at these times when a trip to one of the local conservation areas or parks of central Florida can be most rewarding.  A favorite spot of ours to see the magnificent creatures is at the Blue Spring State Park in Orange City. On any given day there can be upwards of 300 manatee drifting in and out of the springs.

 blue spring manatee feb 2016 142.NEF

If you take the time to really watch their movement, quiet your mind and feel the energy of their presence, you can actually feel your pulse slowing, your chattering thoughts fading,  and your heart expanding as the magic of the natural world takes center stage.

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The early morning sun glints off the soft ripples of aqua and teal, revealing the shadow and form of one of the ocean’s most ancient remnants.  It is thought that the slow moving beasts were the inspiration for sailors’ stories of mermaids.

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A relative of their land cousin the elephant, they do seem to have similar characteristics both in movement and physical appearance.  They are also very familial, just like elephants, and their young nurse longer than most mammals.

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Mama has a tough time hiding out in the shadows for a break from her duties…

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It is difficult to tear myself away, even after several hours of being in the company of such grace, love and quiet acceptance of life as it unfolds.

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In warmer weather it is not uncommon to “bump into” these beautiful animals in rivers and inlets while boating, swimming or kayaking.  There are a lot of rules, protection plans and advisories here in Florida in place to protect their numbers.

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The best thing about living in such a diverse environmental landscape is that you never know what miracles await you just around the corner.  And so my camera goes everywhere with me.  Who knows?  Perhaps someday I might get to see a “real” mermaid.


manatee day jan 2015 463.NEF


What miracles have you witnessed today?

14 thoughts on “Manatee Dreams

    1. I’m so glad you liked the photos. I take hundreds and it is difficult to choose a handful. They truly are gentle. You have had friends who were nudged by them while swimming in the river. Now that would be a magical moment! They intentionally close off public water usage in the springs during these months to minimize human contact with them. You know how disqstrous that could be, unfortunately. But they are still out in the waters all year long.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Me too Dan. Dare I say it? I don’t “do Disney”. Even at this park I get frustrated with the behavior of praents with unruly, screaming children that don’t seem the least bit intereted in the reason they came in the first place and are splintering the peace and tranquility of the place and time. I can say this because I raised four sons who grew up happy, healthy, full of fun but know how to respect the space and rights of others around them. Basic human consideration. Yeah….sometime I wish I were floating deep beneath the blue green waters with my friends….

        Liked by 2 people

      2. It’s funny. We never took Faith to Disney. They have a restaurant in the park called “Artist Point” which has a mountain theme. I did take her to Mt Baker in the North Cascades of Washington, and I took her to Artist Point, the snow field. I asked her which one she would rather go to and it was the one in the Cascades.


  1. What a treat to see your wonderful photos and read your reflections. It must be so wonderful to see these amazing creatures, I wish I could. Thank you for sharing.


    1. This was literally on my bucket list, if ever I had one, Julia. I find the beyond fascinating. Thanks. Maybe you will get to one day. I wish I could see seals and sea lions again. I saw them only once whileon a trip yo San Francisco. Lovely creatures!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes it is. All State Parks are maintained and run by the state and there is a small fee to enter. We don’t mind because the money is well spent on caring for and protecting Florida’s wildlife and natural landscape. These are my favorite moments…thank you.


  2. Pity there isn’t a love button, because I love this post – thank you for sharing. If you ever get to see mermaid – please tell she will get a warm welcome in Tahunanui, Nelson should she wish to visit!


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