Blue Spring State Park, FL

Above is a Momma Manatee and its baby swimming at Blue Spring State Park.  Some more info from the web: Blue Spring State Park covers more than 2,600 acres including the largest spring on the St. Johns River. Blue Spring is a designated Manatee Refuge and the winter home to a growing population of West Indian Manatees. The spring and spring run are closed during Manatee season, mid-November through March, swimming or diving with manatees is not permitted, this rule is strictly enforced.

For centuries, the spring area was home for Native Americans. In 1766 it was visited by Colonial American botanist John Bartram, but it was not until 1856 that it was settled by Louis Thursby and his family. The Thursby house, built in 1872, remains standing. The spring´s crystal clear, 73 degree water can be enjoyed by swimmers, snorkelers, and certified scuba divers with a partner.

It was a cold day in Florida when I visited.  Even with the warm waters…keeping warm is key.  Here you can see them huddled up trying to stay warm.   For this day I was using my 70-200 VR f/2.8.  I wont post settings due to the numerous photos.  There is a park entrance fee and they have viewing platforms and nice walkways to get around.  The manatee is also known as a sea cow.  Not the smartest animal in the world.  Sometimes they get hit by boat propellers…looks like one guy above took in some injuries.  These animals still amaze me, now matter how many times I see them.   Enjoy!