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Florida manatee 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 Florida Manatee 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 Grant 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 forget getting into the park if you are not there in the early morning. Florida manatees draw a big crowd to our small part of the country. I think it is awesome that such a mysterious creature that swims the waters can draw a crowd as big as a rock concert!
Watch our retro video of Blue Spring on a freezing cold day. YOUTUBE. Be sure to subscribe while you are there so you catch all our Florida videos.
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 imagination of sailors at sea for long periods of time. They would report seeing a beautiful half woman, half fish swimming in the waters. Many people believe what they were seeing was a manatee.
If you are in need of a nature study idea, try the manatee. These bathing beauties won’t disappoint!
Holly Giles is a wife, mother, and storyteller. As an author and Florida Master Naturalist, she writes about heritage homemaking skills, motherhood, and why Florida offers the best hidden natural gems to explore as a family.