A Day With the Manatees


     It was a beautiful weekend here in Florida, so we decided to take a road trip to Orange City.  They have a natural spring that the manatees love to come to when the mornings are too cold for them to jump right into the Saint John's River. 

     My older girls have been here many a times with my mother.  They love to jump on an intertube and drift down stream to the spring.  They get the giggles when these enormous Manatees get in their way and they have to reach out and nudge them to move.  However, this was the first time for my husband, my son, and myself to visit this spring. 

     I found as we pulled into the park the absolute beauty of nature took my breathe away.  There were huge, old, twisted trees with the famous Florida moss hanging from those big, majestic branches.  The water was as clear as your evening bath and full of assorted fish and Manatees.  The ranger informed us that the morning before they had counted 269 Manatees in the spring.  People were pleasant, all just enjoying the natural beauty of this world.  Such a refreshing break from the hussel and bussel of the normal weekends we have.  There were no malls with parking spaces five miles away, no rude sales clerks, no crowded stores, no sports events with disgruntled parents, no driving the girls here and there, no school projects needing completion at the last minute, just us and nature at it's best.

     For those who are not familiar with Manatees, let me give you a quick version of what they are.  Manatees are mammals that are about 10 feet long, and range in weight from 800lbs up to 1200lbs.  They love warm, shallow water, so they tend to migrate to Florida in the winter months.  They are very gentle and 100 percent herbivorous.  And I absolutely love them.
While we looked at the Manatees, I noticed  that there were huge circles in the sand.  Each one had a single fish laying in it.  I asked a ranger what they were, and he explained it was about to be spawning season.  The fish were preparing for this.  It was just one of many unexpected discoveries waiting to be recognized.  We also found a great, hollow tree to snap a photo of our niece, Taylor, and daughter, Courtne. 

     We spent the morning walking the park and just taking in the Florida air.  Our son, Judah, loved greeting every person he saw, and every animal for that matter.  It was a great weekend, and a much needed break.  In a day of cell phones and laptops, it was a rare moment where we stepped away from the technology of today's times, and took a minute to be reminded of the beauty that surrounds us.
God Bless,


Popular Posts