Welcome To My Blog

Weekends are for wandering Wisconsin. That's what Rick, my guy, and I do. Occasionally we wander during the week, too. Sometimes we just drop in on other people's lives.

This blog is my way of sharing where we've been, neat places and things to do that we've found.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Manatees and More

This week we traveled about an hour from The Villages "compound" to Crystal River (on the Gulf side of Florida) and the Three Sisters Spring to see manatees - marine mammals. The springs were discovered in 1945 by a developer who later made them into a lake. In 2010 the property became part of the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge. This refuge is one of 29 in Florida. (We have 11 such areas in Wisconsin.) 

The springs are owned by the city of Crystal River and managed by the federal Fish & Wildlife Service. In a couple of months there will only be several manatees to see here since most of them swim out to the Gulf of Mexico once the water warms up a little more.
The manatees are on the bottom; the rocks are along the edge of the water.
When manatees are resting they'll come up for air every 15 minutes or so.
Their closest animal relative is the elephant. Manatees are also known as sea cows.
We didn't swim with these marine mammals like some folks did. Rather, we walked along a boardwalk to view about a hundred of them getting ready to start their day. Several volunteers were positioned along the way to share information about the manatees and their habits.

A wetland restoration project was in progress near the manatees. It should be interesting to come back in a few years and see what the area looks like then.

A number of other natural areas and state parks were nearby so we stopped in to take a walk through the Florida flora. One stop was the Crystal River Archaeological State Park

This high mound, built around 600 A.D., supported a temple for the
Native Americans who inhabited Florida at that time.
These smaller mounds reminded me of the Indian burial mounds
we see in Wisconsin.

Manatees make good mascots throughout Florida.
This guy was at the Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park.
One more park and a couple more trees.
Looks like a fire went through the park a few years ago.
Spring is coming, but the leaves are the color of fall.
Green is such a great sight in the middle of winter!
This beautiful Florida sunset was one we saw from within The Villages.

Our time in Florida is coming to an end much too soon. We are keeping our fingers crossed that when we return to Wisconsin spring will be just around the corner!

No comments:

Post a Comment