More on Manatee Springs

It's almost impossible to distinguish the underwater limestone formations from sky reflections.

I was hoping to document in photos the dramatic limestone formations in Manatee Springs along with the steep dropoffs to deep water.  But the water is such a perfect mirror that it’s impossible to tell what is underwater and what is sky reflection.

While I was photographing the spring, I heard a loud commotion and looked up to see dozens of small ducks half

An underwater limestone mound covered with colorful vegetation blends into the reflected skyscape

running on the water, half flying to escape a river otter that had just caught one of their companions for lunch.

Past the spring run, I watched for manatees in the Suwannee River this afternoon without success.  Maybe tomorrow.

Catfish Hotel is a 90′ deep sinkhole that scuba divers enter to explore

Catfish Hotel, 90' deep sinkhole

the surrounding underwater caves.  It gets its name from the large catfish that live on the bottom.  Depending on time of day, it may be completely covered in thick, green pond scum, or there may be a small opening in the scum in the center.  It’s such an ugly contrast to the beautiful clear spring that I didn’t even want to take

Underwater cave map

a picture of it.  But since it’s an important part of the park, I thought I should mention it.

Five miles of underwater caves have been mapped from Catfish Hotel.  Braver people than I did the mapping!

I took dozens of photos of egrets, ducks, hickory nuts, underwater leaves and other things that caught my eye today, but am unable to post them.  Our cell connection here is marginal and I’ve already lost the signal several times.

Between walks, I spent an hour or so tatting Christmas card motifs this afternoon while Ron went into town.   As the campground was nearly empty, I enjoyed the silence, broken only by an occasional squirrel scurrying through the leaves, or the fall of a hickory nut or acorn — or maybe small branches.

Dinner this evening was grilled chicken wings, corn on the cob and green beans.  Food cooked and eaten outdoors is such a treat!


  1. ann

     /  December 6, 2011

    gorgeous photography!


  2. You sure seem to be having a wonderful trip. So happy you found your little camper in time to do this.


    • JoJo, we are having a fantastic time. Wasn’t the timing on the camper wonderful? I had been so afraid we would have to miss this trip. Wish it could last for months! 🙂


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