I can’t believe it’s already been a whole month since I last posted! The holidays went great for my family & I, and school is back in session. I’m taking an upper-level math course called Quantitative Methods in Business, and I’m determined to do well, so it’s been occupying most of my time. I was extremely happy to be able to get away for a mini road trip up to Volusia County to visit Blue Springs State Park in Orange City.
Blue Springs State Park is a crucial winter refuge for the Florida manatee, which is a subspecies of the West Indian Manatee, a large herbivorous marine mammal. These docile creatures travel up the St. John’s River to Blue Springs every year and stay from November to early March; the constant 70 degree temperature of the water coming up from the aquifers prevents death by thermal shock due to the cold.
The park was a lot smaller than I expected it to be, but it was definitely still worth the $6 per care entrance fee. There were several viewing docks along the path to see the wildlife at different areas, which was nice because people weren’t crammed together. At the halfway point we witnessed a young manatee playing with a rope attached to a buoy. There was a path to follow to the last viewing area on a hill, where most of the manatees were sunbathing and frolicking with each other. It was beautiful to see such gentle and majestic animals relaxing in their own element. In addition to the manatees floating happily by, I also saw a peregrine falcon on the way in, a few different bird species, and many fish. Enjoy the snapshots! Namaste, Melanie.