Monday, February 22, 2010

Blue Spring Manatee Preserve

Last weekend, we made the 40 mile trek to Orange city to visit the Blue Spring Manatee Preserve. It was by far the coolest thing we've done since we've been here and the pictures I got are fantastic. I think they really show how beautiful Florida can be when it wants to. Blue Spring is a natural spring bubbling up from the earth and forming a river that's part of a whole system of rivers and lakes called the intercoastal waterway. The water from the spring is always 73 degrees and that makes it a favorite winter spot for West Indian manatees, which are severely endangered animals. Learn more about manatees here and more about Blue Spring here. The manatees were so beautiful and the alligators that live there with them were pretty neat too. I took about 100 pictures and I wish I could post them all, but I'll have to do my best to narrow it down for you.



First, a few shots of the setting. It's such a pretty park:











Here you can see the fissure under the water where the earth has opened up to release the water from the spring:











Now for the Manatees! Here's a mama and her baby:



A group of them congregating in the sunshine along the shore:



The river is teeming with them at this time of year. Aren't they beautiful?!















Some Manatee artwork from the little museum there:










Last but not least, the Anderson's at Blue Spring:








Dallas and his friend, Matt were here for the weekend and they came with us. They, of course, were to cool to just enjoy the experience and instead spent the day shouting things like, "The manatees are man-eaters! Do not put your hands in the water!" The other tourists looked on in horror at the two idiots who would say mean things about manatees at the preserve. We just tried to stay a good distance ahead of them so no one would know we were together.











We had such a nice day at Blue Spring and I can't wait to go back. Once spring comes and the manatees head back out into the river, people can swim there and go canoing and scuba diving. Count me in!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

New Blog

Check out my new environmental blog, My Eco-Rhythm at www.mendearth.blogspot.com. There are some good ideas about how you can make a difference in the world, without spending tons of money or time. While you're there, click on the ads so I can make some money. :)

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

See the Sights

The mainland side of the riverfront is definitely the nicest part of town here and we live just a few blocks away. the park we like to take Livvy to is down there and I took some pictures the other day to show you how different things are here. The park is separated from the parking lot by a little swampy area and you have to walk across a bridge to get there. The park also has it's own dock and boat ramp, along with several piers you can walk out onto and check out the river.











The plantation style homes along the riverfront are AMAZING!! It was hard to get good pictures, though because there are so many trees.
































One house had a manatee mailbox:









Many of the homes have their own private dock and they line the river bank:

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

This week Olivia...

was reunited with Bubbles, her teddy bear who she was separated from after she threw up on him at the SLC airport. He had to go home to Cami's to get washed and then mailed to us.






insists on feeding herself:




discovered sunbeams.








is still beautiful.