Friday, February 8, 2013

Lots of Manatees in Salt Springs!

Manatee in Salt Springs, FL
We went for a canoe ride a few days ago, and there were plenty of manatees right off of the dock.  There must have been at least a dozen of them.  We paddled over to them, and watched them for about an hour as they fed on the sea grass   They swam right under the canoe a few times.  They are so enormous that I'll bet they could easily tip the canoe over if they decided to surface.  Fortunately for us, that didn't happen.  There was a mother with a baby, which was really neat to see.  What wasn't good to see were the scars on a couple of the manatees where they had gotten clipped by boat propellers.  They're drawn towards the sound of the motor, and unfortunately many people don't cut their engines when there in these waters.


Manatee in Salt Springs feeding on sea grass

The manatees in Salt Springs are West Indian Manatees, whose average length is 10 feet and average weight between 800 and 1,200 pounds.  They're related to elephants, and I can see the genetic connection in their wrinkled grey skin.

The ones in Salt Springs seem huge!  They are such gentle giants, and seem to enjoy human contact.  The other day there were people swimming with them, and actually petting them.  Here's a picture of a manatee right by a boat that was next to us, with the girl almost touching it.  How neat is that!







The manatees will stay in Salt Springs while it's cool, and travel to Lake George once that water gets warmer.  They're drawn to the warm water in Salt Springs, because it's always 72 degrees.  They migrate away from cooler water as soon as it goes below 68 degrees.  I'm hoping to get out there to see them again before they leave us.  Maybe I'll even get to pet one.

8 comments:

  1. Alway a joy to read your blogs and also fun to see pictures. You know how much I love pictures. I know you and Bob are having a ball!
    See you in May !!!
    SAM

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    1. Hi, Sam - we are having a ball. We're really enjoying our winter down here. Can't wait to see you in May - we're really looking forward to it!

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  2. What a treat to get that close to one of natures giants.

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    1. Tom - it's wonderful getting so close these wonderful creatures. We're going out in the boat tomorrow, so maybe they'll be out there again. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. Hi Margaret. I am catching up on my blog reading this morning and was lucky enough to spot your latest post. Your photos of the Manatees were great. I know from past experience that being quick enough to get a decent shot can be difficult. Also, we enjoyed meeting both you and Bobby!

    John and Ellen
    connectedtothevinephotography.blogspot.com

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    1. It was great to meet you both as well, and Bob will be glad to know you liked his photos (especially coming from such a good photographer as yourself!). Hope you're enjoying the rest of your trip, and that we run into each other again sometime.

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  4. Aren't they wonderful? We have Manatee Park really close to where we live here in Ft Myers and also see them often when we're boating. Amazing creatures.

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  5. Hey Sally - so good to be back in touch with you. We went to Blue Springs State Park the other day, and they had so many manatees there. They are such neat creatures. Didn't know that they had such a park in Ft. Myers. Sounds like you're having a great time there. I love that area.

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