Gentle Giants

They say coming back as a dog would be ideal: happy-go-lucky, loyal, every day’s a new adventure, etc. But I think coming back as a manatee, those gentle giants who float about and are in no hurry to be anywhere, would make for a nice, laid-back life.

Spent the last two days camping at Blue Spring State Park in Florida, known as a winter home to about 200 of these gentle giants and a myriad of fish, birds, and shady hardwood hammock and pine trees. Spent the first day with a small gathering of Travato-ites which is always a delight and adds to the nomadic friendships that come through this type of travel and living. Two of us were full-timers, the other two part-timers, but in this culture that doesn’t matter a bit.

My previous Florida manatee encounters consisted of seeing a hump in murky water, or the fantastic manatee tank at Mote Marine in Sarasota. So seeing these in the wild, in clear water, was a real treat. It was a poor day, however, for photography with heavy clouds and not a lot of sunlight. Still, through the magic of my raw photo editing software, was able to pull out a few decent photos to share the experience.

Photo gallery below for your enjoyment includes a rare sighting (for me at least) of a pileated woodpecker. Not a sharply focused picture, but I was a long way away from the tree where he (or she) was going about its morning ritual pecking the deadwood, high up the tree looking for a tasty breakfast morsel.

2 thoughts on “Gentle Giants

  1. Nice heron, too! (I think it’s a heron.) You definitely did better with your photos than I did with mine. I’m debating beginning the hunt for a new camera.

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