Many folks were spending a sunny Saturday, the 9th of April, perusing delicacies at the Pierce Street Market, harbor front Clearwater Bay. Some very fit participants were even practicing for the Iron Girl Clearwater Competition the following day. But little did these land dwellers know, something rather dramatic was brewing in the waters just yards away!
Florida manatees happened to have their own frisky agenda this fine spring day. Now it’s not unheard of to spy manatees around and about Clearwater Bay. Although, a group of twelve or more manatees together in shallow nearshore waters is unusual and sure got my attention! Since images speak so much more eloquently than I possibly can, here’s a minute of video to give you the flavor of this rare event:
Manatees Cavorting in Clearwater Harbor Marina. About 6:15pm, Saturday April 9, 2016. A Rare Event Right in Front of Coachman Park.
Believe it or not, “I want more Wrinkles for my Birthday” said the 50-something year old lady. That’s me and that was my wish!? I have a tradition of setting out to observe manatees on my birthdays. This past February 11th I wondered what adventure awaited? Little did I know a very fat little male manatee calf with deep wrinkly folds that jiggled as he swam, was also in search of adventure! We met that day and here is his story in pictures and video:
I Have Seen Many Manatee Calves Underwater But “Wrinkles” Is Definitely One Of The Fattest! His Mom Feeds Him Well! Here He Is With Mom, Look At Those Fat Folds Of Wrinkles! Feb. 11th, 2016.
To celebrate my foray into Instagram, this photo and short video is the first thing I’m going to post @carolgrantinsta. Here’s the HD version of the video on Vimeo. Look at those precious deep fat wrinkly folds! Now that is a healthy male manatee calf – Well Done Mom! Continue reading →
Leap Day! It’s a phenomena that happens every four years at the end of February to keep our calendars on point. I look on it as an “extra” or “bonus” day, and who doesn’t need an extra day! ?
This Leap Day 2016 I wanted to use my day to go see what the manatees were up to. You may know I had a very lucky Leap Day in 2008 when I happened upon a newborn manatee in front of Three Sisters Springs. But more about that later… See, I also wanted to see the manatees on Leap Day 2012, although it was so hot so early, that the manatees had already skedaddled out of the springs to warmer, more food-rich waters. Thus I was determined to spend February 29, 2016, this recent past Leap Day, observing manatees as I felt it would be another lucky day. I was right!
A Female Manatee Is Quite Curious About The Company and Poses Along With A Friend! Three Sisters Springs, Crystal River. Leap Day, February 29, 2016.
It wasn’t just this adorable gal manatee who came out of the manatee-only resting area to see what we were all about…, there were many manatees in clear, blue water on this lucky Leap Day. Here’s a sampling: Continue reading →
Hello! I’ve been busy observing manatees this unique January 2016! I say unique because it’s sometimes been sunny and mild, other times very cold and extremely windy. That is a peak time for manatees to seek refuge! After a very warm December, January has turned out to be rather cold and the weather quite volatile. Despite any obstacles I have been in the water to chronicle the lives of our beloved sirenians – as I do every January, although this January it is harder to encounter decent underwater photographic conditions. In these seven examples I have succeeded in different aspects of photographing what I’m interested in and trying new things. There is a “Challenge on Nature Photography” going on right now across Facebook. Usually folks nominate a new person each day. I was nominated, so instead of posting new images for seven days on Facebook, I’m putting seven here and linking to #challengeonnaturephotography.
Without further ado – here’s seven examples of what me and the manatees have been up to this month:
#1 – Mother and Calf Display Affection and Bask In Sun Rays. Wed. January 20th.
Due to cold weather and large numbers of manatees, Three Sisters Springs has been closed sometimes, but open others. Continue reading →
He journeyed across land and the vast Atlantic Ocean. Crocheted by loving hands, he was imbued with a type of life-force that exuded compassion and kindness. I named him “Blue”…
To celebrate the new highest-ever manatee count released today, January 15, 2016, of 1,042 manatees in the Kings Bay, Crystal River and Homosassa Springs areas, here’s a story about this adventurous crocheted little siren, Blue ?. I’ll also attach today’s press release and two recent photos from this week when they were conducting the aerial manatee counts.
Safely Enconsed In His Diving Bell, Blue Meets His Young Manatee Cousin Out Front Of Three Sisters Springs. January 2014.
A Few Days Ago On Monday, January 11, 2016, A Young Manatee Calf Swims Back Into Three Sisters Springs (the day before the recent record aerial manatee counts). Blue Is Proud!
Hello 2016! As this first day of the brand new year draws to a close, my thoughts harken back to some of my favorite manatee moments of this year just past, 2015. I assembled this collage of special moments covering early and later months in 2015.
Memorable Manatee Moments–Jan. to Dec. 2015
A manatee says, “Hello” to me on my birthday, my husband and a good friend each experience a special moment with adoring manatees, and the beauty of the springs provides a fitting frame for these captivating marine mammals. This is merely a small sample of cherished memories throughout 2015. Continue reading →
Florida’s manatees are indeed world famous! And some of the few remaining natural warm freshwater manatee wintering sites are in Crystal River’s Kings Bay, part of the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge. This is also one of the few places one can observe these gentle giants underwater. And this I am very thankful for.
Days Japan, a very well respected photojournalism magazine, contacted me before Thanksgiving and asked me to write some text to go along with the five photographs they had picked out. I was excited to write an article and captions that would be translated in Japanese. Indeed I think the Japanese lettering goes well with our manatees’ personalities! What do you think?
Thanksgiving brings everyone together, so inevitably sometimes there appears the odd “unwelcome guest”, also known as “The Guest Who Would Never Leave”. This happens in manateeland too, and here is their day-before-Thanksgiving story.
If you have gone to see manatees you know it’s been difficult to observe them lately because it’s so unseasonably warm. That’s good for manatees though, warmth assures they have extra opportunities to feed, take care of their calves and socialize before the winter cool down when they gather at the springs.
Theo and I went on Wednesday the day before Thanksgiving. I knew it would be a 50/50 chance of seeing manatees in the clearer springs at Crystal River. But we gave it a go and hoped for good luck!
Surprise! Early arrivals! An eager male manatee chases an algae-covered mom and calf at Three Sisters Springs.
Manatees arrived earlier than I predicted, but fortunately I know this can occur so we were ready. And little did I know we would witness a bit of manatee drama. Continue reading →
About two weeks ago I was putting myself through some paces with a bit of preseason in-water camera practice, when low-and-behold a young female manatee appeared!
Hello There Young Lady!
This manatee was a little curious, but her primary goal back in Three Sisters Springs was to munch! She seemed to know exactly what she wanted for her vegan meal. I suppose her mother did a good job of showing her where early-season tasty bits were to be found. Continue reading →
Three Sisters Springs, Crystal River, is a gem amongst Florida’s lovely natural springs. If you have followed the news lately surrounding the springs, some more restrictions reducing the number of in-water visitors are going to be implemented. Although remember, the nice boardwalk will continue to be open for above water viewing. I just pray the natural, magical beauty that is the essence of Florida’s jeweled freshwater springs, remains intact. Luckily, manatees can still be viewed from kayaks and in-water at a number of other spring sites around King’s Bay, including just out front of Three Sisters Springs.
Reminiscing on all the magical times I and my friends have had at Three Sisters Springs, this memory of my friend Meredith and her dog Benson, is one of the happiest and most poignant.
Benson & Meredith Wishing Me a Happy Birthday at Three Sisters Spring: Feb. 11, 2015
On February 23, 2015, a very small and skinny mother manatee swam into Three Sisters Springs along with her young male calf. A Manatee Watch volunteer at Three Sisters Springs noticed and asked me about the pair. I got a series of underwater pictures for ID to send to researchers and officials at U.S. Fish and Wildlife.
Feb 23 2015 A very small and skinny mother manatee and her young male calf. Note deep vertical chest dent. Three Sisters Springs, Crystal River, Florida.
Since our Florida weather warmed up so fast and dramatically, I haven’t seen or heard about them since.
Sirenians hold many secrets and have for hundreds of years. In the wake of the New England Patriots “Deflate-gate” scandal, I went undercover–and underwater–to see what manatees knew about the mysterious deflated footballs.
Manatees are experts on buoyancy, bubbles and breathing. They don’t even think about PSI when inflating and deflating themselves, it all comes naturally! Manatees know a lot more than us about what constitutes a hard and a soft football. Here is a photographic lead documented on January 20, 2015.
“Uh…, it wasn’t me” says this manatee back in Three Sisters Springs, Crystal River Florida. I found out more on further investigative questioning…, you’ll see in the video evidence below…