Just Add Manatees

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Right now, as I am writing this, there are manatees moving into the freshwater spring areas around Crystal River, Florida. Yea! Their arrival is a gradual process though, so I thought you might like to see what Three Sisters Springs looks like right before the manatees arrive for the winter season.

October 24, 2014 – No Manatees Yet Enjoying The Three Spring Vents

Three Sisters Springs, no manatees yet,

March 27, 2014 – Note The Same Three Spring Vents In March!

Manatees, Three Sisters Springs, mom and baby, peaceful

The green lyngbya algae blankets areas invasively all around Crystal River. Even the lovely Three Sisters Springs is not immune. Note the difference at the end of the season in late March. Where did the lyngbya go?  Continue reading

Manatee Prints

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Manatees – they are charismatic, enthralling, and undeniably cute marine mammals! Added to this, the beauty of their warm winter springs home is unparalleled. All this equals the possibility of stunning underwater prints to enjoy!

Carol Signing a 24X30 Manatee Print

Manatee print, Carol Grant, signing

I did a lot of research and spent a lot of time trying out different printers. That is why it has taken me some time to get my manatee print sales set up. Underwater photographs can Continue reading

Manatees–Sirens of Crystal River Details

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WetPixel, a premier on-line underwater photographic website, has posted manatee images of mine and a short introduction I wrote in their “Full Frame” gallery. Here is the link: Carol Grant: Manatees –Sirens of Crystal River

Being all about the images and letting them speak for themselves, WetPixel’s Full Frame includes short titles. I wrote some more descriptive captions, though, I thought some of you might be interested in. I have included a quote of the text I wrote and the images 1-23 in the order they are in on Full Frame. The only thing added is a descriptive caption below each image for those interested in a little more story behind the shots, plus the month and year of the photograph. In the future I’ll write more extensively about each photograph, but for now here is much more data. I also note the three brand new images I debuted for WetPixel’s Full Frame!  Continue reading

Manatee Guides Trailer Wrap

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Manatees all over a huge trailer? You can thank Tim Martell of Manatee Guides for the concept of using three of my large-format photographs. I think this comes under the heading of “Only In Florida”. Here is what I’m talking about and I understand it has become quite the conversation piece in and around Ft. Myers, Florida. Trailer photos are courtesy Manatee Guides.

Manatees, Manatee Guides, trailer wrap, kayaks, left side,

Manatees, Manatee Guides, trailer wrap, kayaks,

Late in 2012, Tim contacted me with the idea of wrapping his kayak trailer in three of my manatee photographs with inserts of topside pictures he took during his tours. I was very impressed with the design company’s mock-up and we worked it out for me to license him three of my manatee images to use. These are the original photographs he chose: Continue reading

Manatees–Catching Up

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Whew! I just got caught up on delivering photographs from this past manatee season! Now I get to work on finding more manatee photographs, like this one! What do you think this mom manatee is saying about the photographer to her young calf? Clearly, they are both checking me out…

Manatee Mother And Calf Pause To Check Out The PhotographerManatee Mom and Calf, inquisitive, gaze, clear Florida springs,

Many more intriguing manatee photographs await in my archives. I can’t wait to display more!  Of course, I had to finish delivering images to my very patient friends. Here is a sampling of some I burned to disk today and will be in the mail tomorrow!  Continue reading

Man and Manatee Project

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How curious are manatees? What happens when a snorkeler quietly floats nearby? Are we watching manatees or are they watching us? Let me give you a glimpse of my project to document passive, polite observation at the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, Florida.

Floating quietly with hands to oneself is the best way to invite a profound interaction. This adult female manatee is curious about Meredith and is approaching to say hello. January 2014.Florida manatee, snorkeler, curious

For many years now I have been observing and photographing manatees in and around the springs of Crystal River, Florida. Continue reading

Protective Manatee Moms

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Manatee mother and calf bonds are one of the strongest bonds of all underwater marine mammals. Often this equates to a touching sight of mom tucking baby under her ample tail fluke and steering the little one around in safety.

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Manatee Print Proofs

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Taking lovely manatee photographs is one thing—making sure they are represented properly on a client’s wall is another. I just received four print proofs from West Coast Imaging and they are absolutely gorgeous! From time to time I’ve had hurdles with labs duplicating the Florida spring’s unique blues and cyans correctly. West Coast Imaging’s duplication of my files is as near perfect as it can be and I’m looking forward to a long relationship!

Manatee Print Proofs

iPhone pic of Manatee Print Proofs from West Coast Imaging. Phone doesn’t do them justice as they are quite stunning. Best prints I’ve ever ordered!

This is merely a quick iPhone photograph of the proofs, but you get the idea.

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Manatee Protection Signs

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These new manatee protection signs are popping up all around Crystal River, Florida. While signs to watch for manatees and a limited number of educational kiosks have been placed in coastal areas throughout Florida, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service has raised the bar with these excellent signs!

Manatee protection signs

Three-panel manatee protection sign at a boat launch. Put up by USFWS, Crystal River, Florida.

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March Manatees Part 2

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Expanding on my post March Manatees Part 1, this March 2014 has been an interesting mix of frisky manatees, mothers and calves, blue spring water and as always the twist of some very intriguing manatee tidbits!

 Manatee Calf Plays With Mom – March 18, 2014Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris, a subspecies of the West Indian manatee, endangered. Horizontal orientation. An older male manatee calf plays intimately with his mother. This behavior is thought to be a signal to mom that her calf needs to be weaned. Strong March sunlight lights this intimate scene. The pair is floating in the warm blue freshwater of Three Sisters Springs, Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, Kings Bay, Crystal River, Citrus County, Florida USA. (Carol Grant)

Beginning where the last post left off, many of my friends wanted to know more about this frisky male calf growing up and his doting mother. I mentioned what Dr. Bob Bonde told me about this behavior in the previous post. Since I’m very exacting about going to the most reliable source for information, here is what Bob said to me in an email after my first observations of a calf nursing from his mother and then playing intimately with her:

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March Manatees Part 1

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Manatees in March – what is special about this time of the year in the freshwater Florida springs? First, we are very lucky to see manatees in March as if it warms a lot in late February a warm March will beckon manatees to leave the springs and spread out early.

If we have a cooler March, the manatees will tend to stick around near the warm springs and this becomes my favorite time of year to see them. The lovely blue spring water seems more abundant in March due to strong sunlight and milder cold fronts. There are more delightful mothers with their young ones out and about too. I find it peaceful in places like Three Sisters Springs during much of March. Yes, Spring Break is upon us, but I don’t go on busy weekends and find that when I do go the manatees have the springs mostly to themselves. Also the Manatee Watch volunteers do a good job supervising in and around the springs. It becomes truly quiet and serene as you will see in this series of photographs.

 Manatee Mother and Her Young Female Calf – March 4, 2014Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris, a subspecies of the West Indian manatee, endangered. Horizontal orientation. A young female manatee calf with a thick algae layer poses next to its mother in the warm blue freshwater of Three Sisters Springs, Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, Kings Bay, Crystal River, Citrus County, Florida USA. (Carol Grant)

This young female calf above sports a blanket of thick algae and a bit of a little “grin”. Continue reading

Manatee Buzz — About Carol Grant

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The new manatee cover photograph for Alert Diver Magazine, photographer of the week on Dive Photo Guide and the results of testing out the new Xperia phone for Sony underwater; all this has resulted in a lot of recent “buzz” about my manatee photographs. I thought I’d shed a little more light on myself and what I do.

Of course, all this is in addition to the comprehensive collection of manatee images on my own website: Oceangrant.com

Selfie — Carol Grant Waiting For Manatees On A Cold MorningThree Sisters Springs,Selfie,Carol Grant,Florida

 

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New Alert Diver Manatee Cover

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Manatee Surrounded By Fish — The Story Behind The Shot

The cover of the new issue of Alert Diver, Winter 2014, showcases a manatee photograph of mine that I’m very proud of. Here is the story behind the shot and a few other interesting tidbits!Winter 2014 cover of Alert Diver Magazine, Dan.org. Manatee surrounded by fish photograph by Carol Grant, oceangrant.com. (Carol Grant)

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Manatee Sleeps With The Fishes

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Movies often evoke dramatic thoughts and pictures, even years later. Such is the case when I saw the movie “The Godfather”. In a suspenseful moment, after Sal Tessio retrieved a package including a fish, Clemenza says , “It’s a Sicilian message. It means Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes.” I must admit I got chills when I first saw it and I never forgot that scene. But now something’s changed and I can’t quite conjure up the drama connected with that scene. Why, you ask? I think this photograph will explain why…

Manatee Sleeps With The Fishes — January 10, 2014Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus latirostris, a subspecies of the West Indian manatee, endangered. An adult manatee rests on its back in the warm freshwater. Fish, bream, Lepomis spp. surround the resting male manatee. Verticle orientation with sun rays. Three Sisters Springs, Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, Kings Bay, Crystal River, Citrus County, Florida USA. (Carol Grant)

Manatees “sleep with fishes” and they do seem to enjoy it so!

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Memorable Manatee Moments 2013

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Happy 2014! May it be a great year for man and manatees!

It’s heartwarming to look back on some of my most memorable manatee moments of the past year. Even though 2013 saw the highest manatee mortality statistics ever recorded, the manatee population that frequents the Crystal and Homosassa rivers is doing well. Although every manatee encounter is special, here are some from 2013 that I think you will enjoy as I did.

Visit Citrus Cover Manatee

Let me start with a manatee who reached out to the viewer enough to be selected for my second cover for the wonderful and informative Visit Citrus Visitors Guide. I took this photograph in March 2013 when manatees lingered in the clear water of the springs. Many times manatees spread out to feed and socialize by the end of February and in some years it is hard to find them around the springs regularly in March. However in March 2013 we were unexpectedly treated to a lot of sightings and activity! This manatee was quite curious and looks like he really wanted a cover shot — don’t you think so?

Manatee Cover Photograph by Carol Grant, Visit Citrus Visitors Guide

 

Twins!

Manatee mothers usually give birth to one calf and twins are uncommon. Continue reading