Thursday, January 22, 2009

Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, Homosassa, Florida

"Discover the Real Florida"
How could I say no?
As much as I enjoy the long, gleaming strips of sugar sand beaches lined with restaurants - oh, yes, I truly do enjoy them :) - discovering the "real" Florida with the kids makes for a wonderful day.  The fact that the kids learn about our new home state's native species, along with how the staff at the Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park take injured animals, heal them, and then care for them, is a nice bonus.  

The manatees are the stars of the show.  Watching them gently eat carrots, lettuce and other veggies directly from the staff's hands is a great demonstration of just how gentle these giants are.  Unfortunately, their terrible scars show how our species is hurting theres on a daily basis.  




Two of my favorite Manatees:







Now for what are probably our most famous natives, the alligators.  Um...I'm just going to...move along.  I'm sure the park's website will share lots of info about them.  Let's just say I'm still adjusting to the fact that these guys live around here...






Hungry Hungry Hippo




We get these in our yards, too...



Can you even tell he's missing a wing?  Believe me when I tell you it doesn't take away from his glorious presence.  He's a reminder of the good that can be found in the people of this nation.


We're blessed that this park is just a hop, skip, and a jump (over a gator?) away from Spring Hill.


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13 comments:

Debbie said...

That park looks great. We don't take advantage of what is close to us but we need to.

Kristina P. said...

What a cool place! And I've never seen a manatee before.

Kristen said...

Wow how nice that is so close!
Your photos are great.

Lenny said...

That's a great Florida park. We have a second home in Citrus County and try to visit the park, whether by car or boat, as much as possible. Old Homossassa is well worth a visit as well. Check out Macrae's on the river.

Liz said...

What a super fun place to visit!

Nicole said...

How neat that is just a hop away!

nikkicrumpet said...

Oh this brought back some amazing memories. My friends and I got the chance to spend 2 weeks touring different parts of Florida. This would have been back in the 80's. We had heard about a place in Homosassa Springs where you could get into the river and swim around...and actually swim with the manatees. So we rented a boat and some wet suits...and proceeded down the river. It is such a gorgeous place...the houses along the river are beautiful. When we got back into the areas where the lily pads grew lush we jumped out of the boat...and it was truly one of the greatest moments of my life. The manatees are actually friendly, they would swim right up to us..and let us touch them. They actually followed us as we swam. I think they are the most beautiful and gentle creatures on the planet. It was a day I'll never forget!

anita said...

looks like a fun day w/ the kids...
love those manatees!
thanks for sharing!

jewelstreet said...

That looks like such fun! My daughter would love that place.

When I stayed in Florida at the bil's place, I was so scared I was going to get eaten by alligators. For some reason, they really liked his complex.

Amy @ Living Locurto said...

I think I've been there before! Looks like fun:-) Have a great weekend!

tara @ kidz said...

Truly amazing. I'm so jealous!

Those manatees are adorable (all three of them!)

mydogumentary said...

HOW FUN! I love hippos! LOVE them! And the manatee is a cutie too!

afiori said...

YOU HAVE TURTLES??? In your garden???


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