Thursday, January 16, 2014

BLUE SPRING STATE PARK! WINTER HOME TO THE MANATEE

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Chuck and I have been camping for several days at Blue Spring State Park near Deland Florida, just off Interstate 4 north of Orlando. We had cloudy days and rain our first 3 days here so yesterday was our first day to walk along the water and watch the gentle giants of Florida, the Manatee!
I need to apologize for no recent posts. Christmas holidays, visiting family and friends and a bad cold kept me away from the computer!  I will catch up! But I want you to know where we are now. Blue Spring has a very nice campground nestled in the scrub oaks and palmettos giving lots of privacy between sites. The MotherShip is 32’ long and with our room extended we are 12’ wide. We fit….   but it was a narrow entrance!
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Folks come here to see the manatee in their natural habitat. 4 miles of riverfront within the 2,483 acre park, 8 mile hiking trail, boat ramp/dock, 6cabins and a 51 site campground all with water and electric.
Blue Spring is one of three Florida State Parks where you might be lucky enough to see manatee! Yesterday there were plenty of them! The weather was predicted to get cold overnight and they were all leaving the freezing waters of the St. Johns River to refuge in the Blue Spring run where the water stays a stable 72 degrees! The best time to visit the park to see the manatee is from November through March.
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Here, the manatee are entering the Blue Spring run from the St. John’s River. There are close to a dozen here, some hiding in the shadows of the oaks draped with Spanish moss.
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These 3 are headed to the river. Manatee stay in Blue Spring at night for warmth and venture out into the river during the day, when the sun warms the water, to feed. Unfortunately this is a dangerous time for them. The only enemy the gentle manatee has is the speeding motorboat. Manatee surface often for air, making them susceptible to boat propellers that often wound them and even killing them. The white stripe you see on the top manatee is such a scar.
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The scars on the mature mother manatee show clearly in the top 3 photos and the one below. There is a cage made to fit around the boat propellers but boaters refuse to use it.
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The manatee must surface for air. This is a dangerous time for them.
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It was quite breezy yesterday, causing a lot of ripples in the water and making it hard to get good manatee photographs to show you. I have been to this park at least a dozen times to visit the manatee, I have never seen as many in the spring run as I saw yesterday! It just wasn’t a good photo op day because of the rippling waters!
Chuck and I were here in 2010 and got some great manatee photos. You can see them on our blog from that visit by clicking this link:
http://phunnyfarm.blogspot.com/2010/03/blue-spring-state-park-manatees.html
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The park had built several very good viewing areas out over the water so you get a good up close and personal look at the manatee. It was a bit crowded yesterday, but remember… this is prime manatee viewing weather and months! We weren’t   disappointed!
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Chuck meets a veteran of the Korean War and a conversation starts up! Chuck is a Viet Nam vet!
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Back at the campground… ( see how nice our site is?) Chuck grills burgers.  DoogieBowser and Radar wait patiently in the background hoping for a taste!
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Beans with Publix made blue cheese burgers!  YUM!
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DoogieBowser sits up nicely, hoping we notice  a will reward him. Both Radar and Doogie get to lick the empty plates!
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Chuck bought himself a Christmas present this year! A folding papasan (?) chair from Camping  World. As we get older, most of those sagging camp chairs get harder and harder to climb out of. This one one is very comfortable and folds up much smaller than you would think!
Please take a closer look at Blue Spring State Park as a possible Florida destination. We love it here. We will be here 2 more days and then we head to Kissimmee State Park near Lake Wales FL, we could only book a few days there so from there we head back down to Highlands Hammock State Park for another visit and possibly some job training!
As a treat for you, I found a live web cam for viewing the manatee at Blue Spring!  Follow this link:
http://www.savethemanatee.org/savethemanateecam.html

http://www.savethemanatee.org/cam_videos_8.html#Anchor-7


Here is a link to tell you more about the park:
http://www.floridastateparks.org/bluespring/

Hope you enjoyed the visit to Blue Spring! We sure hope you get a chance to visit here is person someday! This is a very special park!
We love you all!   From the MotherShip we are Geri, Chuck and DoogieBowser and Radar!
GOOD side effects!

14 comments:

  1. What lovely creatures! I hope to see one up close and personal. You have to love the Publix stores...one of my favorite groceries ever! Nice to see you enjoying yourselves....

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  2. Cozygirl, I sure hope you took the time to visit the live underwater web cams! I just watched a momma and baby swim by! Also there are a couple of links to video's of the manatee! One great one was of a manatee chasing an alligator out of the spring run area! WoW! I LOVE LOVE LOVE Publix! One good reason to be back in the south! This is the way to do grocery shopping!

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  3. I think your photos of the manatees are great! All the years I lived in Florida I never saw that many. I'm happy you are enjoying yourselves, now that the weather has cleared and your cold is going away. Enjoyed the post!

    BTW, Doogie looks very handsome in his harness.

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  4. Actually, Chuck took most of yesterday's manatee photos and took the ones from the 2010 blog. There were many more manatee photos there! Doogie struts his stuff wth that harness on! LOL!

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  5. 'Lick the empty plates'?!?!?! Here they wait patiently and all they get is a sniff. Why, that's almost like going to a seafood restaurant, they bring your shrimp to the table, let you get a few wiffs and carry it back to the kitchen without getting a bite!! Shameful, I tell ya. And then you expect the poor pooches to wash the plates. Practically slave labor!

    (Doogie paid me to say all that; he knows how Spike and Bridget eat....)

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    1. LOL! Actually they were paper plates and we did leave them a bite of hamburger and a spoon of beans! We aren't heartless you know! hahaha!

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  6. Nice photos and an interesting post.

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

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  7. Great post about a great place. We really had a good time there last year, took a day trip from our camp at Alexander Springs. Florida, the interior, could become habit forming. Do you plan to be back in the south west anytime soon?

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    1. Right now we are enjoying visiting with family and friends here in Florida. We have been away from Florida for 4 years, so we aren't bored yet! We love the SouthWest and may end up there again... We will be working as volunteers at Myakka River State Park (The blog befrore this one) from March to June.

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  8. I just found your blog from another one I was reading. We also like Blue Springs SP. Your manatee pictures were great.

    We're in the Keys for a while and we've even seen a few manatee here on occasion.

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  9. I love seeing manatee! I haven't been to the Keys in years and Chuck has never been... guess we are going to have to head that way one day!

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  10. Great pictures of the mantee! I didn't know I could get so close to them in a state park. Great Idea!

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  11. Hi! I really like reading your blog so I am nominating you for the Liebster Award Details here http://seizethedayrvadventure.com/2014/03/24/liebster-blog-award/

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