Hello Manatees-East Meets West

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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?

Days Japan Magazine 1st Page of my Manatee Article (pg. 56) with Lovely Japanese Characters!Days Japan,page 1,manatee article,page 56

Would you like to know more about the article and the photographs contained therein? 

Good! Here is more about these star manatees in Japan right now. Unfortunately I do not read Japanese myself, but I admire the language and the beautiful characters so much. I do have some friends who can translate Japanese into English and vice-versa, but they are all overseas at the moment. Still a Facebook friend of mine, Takako, said the writing and photographs communicated beautifully and she is sending me a print copy all the way from Japan! I am touched by this kind act by one of my Facebook friends, as it makes a wonderful Christmas present! Here is the full layout in Days Japan, new issue January 2016 (available now) page 56.

Manatee Photographs, Captions and Article by Carol Grant for Days Japan Magazine – current issue.DayJapan_3pgs

I thought I’d tell you a little more about each of the five photographs used and some extra “scoop”. While all these photographs were taken at my favorite spot in Kings Bay, Three Sisters Springs, there are several other spring sites nearby where manatees can be observed also.

Manatee Strikes a Pose! This photo was taken at Three Sisters Springs, Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge on March 4, 2013. I love the rainbow sun rays on her snout and the way she is inquisitively gazing at the camera! Manatees are every bit as endearing as this! Hello Manatee!Manatee Cuteness

A male manatee, on the left, woos a female with tender snout rubs. Taken on March 28, 2013. Many times manatees have spread out into the Gulf of Mexico by the end of March, but in 2013 they stuck around all month which was a real treat!Manatee Snout Rubs

Male manatees know how to relax in the warm Florida sun! Not so unlike many other Floridians! Taken on March 14, 2013 (yes, 2013 was a fantastic year for manatees in March and lovely visibility in the springs, although it does change every year…).Manatee Sun Worshiper

On February 4, 2013, we had a particularly blue outflow from the largest of the Three Sisters Springs called “Big Sister”. The outflow was very warm too as this male manatee relaxed for a long time along with his mangrove snapper cohorts. Is there such a thing as a “Pied Piper Manatee”?Manatee Relaxes By Spring With Snappers

The Days Japan folks wanted a photograph of myself with a manatee, but I’m not as photogenic as my friend Meredith here with an adoring female manatee who feels the same way! Taken on January 28, 2014, and kudos to Meredith for her polite posture in the water that lets the manatee be its curious self!Manatee Nuzzles Snout On Snorkeler

Here are a couple of extra photographs of my dear Japanese friend Yoshie! She came all the way from Tokyo and we went to introduce her to the manatees on November 25, 2013. The freshwater springs and indeed all of Kings Bay, is at the mercy of tides, temperature and weather patterns. These things govern where manatees will be found at any given time. Many times manatee presence can only be predicted hours before and sometimes they still fool me! This day the manatees did not go back in the springs, but were found in and around the sanctuary out front of Three Sisters Springs. As you can see here a manatee came out of the sanctuary to bid a special hello to Yoshie!

A manatee comes out of the front sanctuary to meet my Japanese friend Yoshie! November 25, 2013Manatee_Yoshi-5162

Yoshie is thrilled!Manatee_Yoshi-5153

I hope you get a newsstand copy of the new Days Japan with my manatee article. From what I saw of a photograph from my Facebook friend in Japan, Takako, the print quality is excellent. This is a top-notch photojournalism magazine you should check out!

Best, Carol