Happy Holidays from Florida! What better way to celebrate than by communing with nature. While others rushed to find the blue light special, we drove up to Blue Springs State Park to search for manatees. This endangered species is Florida's official state marine mammal. There are about 2800 manatees left in the wild... and we were excited to see about 10 of them on Saturday! When the weather gets chilly, the manatees swim inland to the springs, where the water is a constant 72 degrees. After several unsuccessful visits to this park in years past, I was thrilled to see manatees that weren't behind glass at Sea World or Epcot. While a mommy and her baby floated slowly along together, another group of manatees wrestled in the water, twirling and flipping and splashing their enormous paddle-like tails. Mesmerizing!
Canoeing along the St. Johns River, we also glimpsed many birds and many gators. Please keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times!