Manatee Springs, Buzzards & Bites

Incredibly blue Manatee Spring

When we first arrived at Manatee Springs State Park, I was a bit taken aback at how rustic the campground was.  Sand roads, sand campsites, no laundromat.  Then when I got my first look at Catfish Hole, a green scum covered entrance to underwater caves, I told Ron I wanted to leave tomorrow.

But we kept walking…. and then we saw the spring.

Pristine.  Blue. Primeval. Otherworldly.

Cypress knees

We followed the spring run on a boardwalk above a swamp where an alien looking world of cypress trees and cypress knees created a weird jurassic park type landscape.

Eventually we came to the end of the boardwalk overlooking a wide expanse of water where we hope to spot manatees in the coming days.  When I was a kid, we called them sea cows.  In the winter, these gentle vegetarian giants congregate around Florida’s springs which are a constant, year round 72 degrees.

Primeval looking swamp

But this evening, we didn’t see manatees.  What we did see were thousands of buzzards heading for roosts in the trees at the edge of the water.  The sound of thousands of buzzard wings is pretty impressive…. and they just kept on coming!

Very fortunately they are not roosting in the trees in the camping areas as they are a bit away from the water.

Where we hope to spot manatees

Buzzards roosting in trees by the water

Looks like something from Alfred Hitchcock, doesn't it?

Spanish moss

Manitee basics for boaters

Our Casita at Manatee Springs State Park

When we pulled into the campground, we saw another Casita at the beginning of our loop.  Later the friendly owner from Washington State told us that there were three other Casitas at this small campground this past weekend.

We had a couple of notable mishaps today.  First, we had our initiation into the world of dumping disasters when our sewer hose came apart.  We learned the hard way how they are supposed to be secured to the clamps.

And when I put on a clean shirt after my shower this evening, I got two fiery bites on my underarm.  I was really worried imagining what kind of venomous, deadly creature might have bitten me.  Then I saw the wasp on the window blinds.

The Casita got a generous spray of Black Flag insect killer!



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