From far away it looks like big rocks out there in the water. They were really manatees.
It’s not often you can get this close to manatees. At Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park you can see them up close on a bridge that crosses over Homosassa River where the wild manatees congregate in the winter. The water is crystal clear so you can really see the details on these big sea cows.
They were staying close together keeping warm. It had been cold for a few days but the water in the springs stays much warmer.
When they come up for air you can really see their faces.
There are tour guides that take you down the river and swim in the area that the manatees are hanging out. The tours are heavily monitored by volunteers to make sure the people don’t bother the manatees if they are in the no-swim zone. I’d rather just let the manatees stay wild and admire them from the bridge. There were over 20 boats by lunch time.
“Fishies” swimming by the underwater observation window.
From my annual winter road trip in January.
We only saw a few bison during our drive through Rocky Mountain Arsenal Park.
The view of downtown Denver from the park.
I did not want to leave. Even though we had cold rainy weather the entire trip out here I could so live here. Maybe I’m just tired of the beach and heat after living in Florida for almost 16 years.
I had a window seat on the way home.
I knew I was getting close to home when I saw so much water.
Where to next????
Permanently injured white pelicans that live at Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park. They are beautiful birds.
Getting their morning snacks from a park ranger.
They have a white morph great blue heron missing a wing that lives there.
Wood stork also getting breakfast.
Pink fluff balls (spoonbills) all lined up.
You can get up close to all of the beautiful birds at Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park just north of Tampa. The sanctuary is home to a lot of injured birds.
I realized after standing there for a while on the trail and watching the black bellied whistling ducks flying around in circles what they were doing. The groups of juveniles would take off together and fly around in a small circle and land back in the marsh near their parents. They were practicing for that flight back up north in the spring. They would all whistle together as they flew around me and landed. It was fun to watch them in the early morning fog.
Lots of activity the morning I was there in early January. I hadn’t seen that many whistlers together in the marsh in a long time. They were all very busy feeding and flying around. There were a few young ones left that still had their pin feathers in. I hope some of them stay over through the spring. I miss hearing that whistling sound when they are not here at Circle B Bar Reserve.
Christmas afternoon, after eating and napping, Brett and I headed down to Fort Desoto Park for a walk on the beach.
We stayed for the sunset along with the crowds of people there. It was a perfect ending to Christmas.