Bathing Beauties of Blue Spring-Florida Manatee

By Holly Giles | Field Trips

Manatees show up in the springs of Florida from December through March.  During the winter months, manatee move to warmer
waters and a large number of them find their way to Blue Spring State Park.
We have been taking Grayson and Grant to the park to see them since they were little. They seem to be more enamored with them each year.  Watching the babies follow their moms around the spring is such a treat, it makes Cowboy giddy. These gentle giants are so interesting in their slow movements and playful nature.  It amazes me how far they travel each year and then return to the spring for safety. This year, we watched several youngsters eat and saw their pincer-like mouth grabbing food. Somehow we had never seen that before. It always amazes me how much you can look at the same thing again and again, yet always see something different!
Blue Spring is a wonderful park that is a gateway to the historical past of Florida.  Majestic oaks, crystal clear waters, cypress swamp and the St. Johns River. It is a great way to spend a day.  As we left the park, the boys and I noticed that there were only a few cars with Florida license plates, the rest were from all over the country.  On peak days, you can hang up getting into the park if you are not there in the early morning.  I think it is awesome that such a mysterious creature that swims the waters can draw a crowd as big as a rock concert!
If you don’t live near a river with warmer waters that the manatee visit, you can still have a lesson with your children with books from your local library and the internet.  Learning the history of the sea cow beauties is quite interesting.  The legend of mermaids is said to be the imaginations of sailors at sea for long periods of time.  They would report seeing a beautiful half woman, half fish swimming the waters.  Many people believe what they were seeing was the manatee.
If you are in need of a nature study idea, try the manatee.
These bathing beauties won’t disappoint!
Books of interest:

Manatees – Precious McKenzie
Manatees – Zelda King


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