For this Manatee Appreciation Day I want to spread a little warm cheer that’s so much needed at this time. I’m going to tell you the story of these giant manatee buddies from the building in Chicago.
I’m taking a fond look back at what a memorable year we had in 2019. Yes, manatees were a big part of it, as always! But we also trekked over 1,000 miles across Florida, making it all the way down to Dry Tortugas National Park at the western tip of the Florida Keys. Here are some highlights:
Mustache, the baby boy manatee with the white mustache—that is a good place to start. Spring Equinox, March 20th, was the first time I saw the adorable little youngster with his mom. I’ve seen baby manatees before, most notably the little one “Angel” confirmed by Dr. Bob Bonde to have probably been born in the springs the night before that early morning Leap Day in 2008. It is interesting comparing the little calves and seeing the differences between a newborn and a manatee calf that is about two weeks old. Both are absolutely adorable!
Now look at some of the differences between the documented newborn, Angel, and the slightly older calf, the one I called Mustache, from March 20, 2019. Continue reading
There’s several things that make experiencing another trip around the sun happy and more palatable. For myself, one of those things is being underwater in the manatee’s world. It has become a tradition for me to express my appreciation to the manatees, through photographs, on my birthday.
Monday, February 11th, was very warm but manatees still showed up and the water was gorgeous!
This young manatee lazily poked around Three Sisters Springs Continue reading
Henry, the enormous African elephant stood strong and proud while animals from his homeland, and other places far and wide, were projected around the rotunda of the National Museum of Natural History, Washington D.C. It was the evening of November 15th, nine days ago and there was a sense of magic in the air!
A Florida manatee was included. My photograph of a Florida manatee and schooling snapper was a Highly Honored winner and will now hang in the Smithsonian for a year!
Myself and my husband Theo Grant, by my manatee photograph in the Nature’s Best Photography–Windland Smith Rice International Awards. ©️Nature’s Best Awards 2018
I’m thrilled to see it in the museum and also glad it is hung low where children can easily engage with it. Continue reading
Fifteen to twenty miles per hour, that’s the approximate burst speed of our Florida manatees. Usually they saunter along up to 5mph, but with that powerful tail they can really turn on the speed. Here’s another in my series of telling stories and data behind recent manatee images.
A manatee’s paddle-like tail is lit with warm sunlight. This manatee is relaxed and slowly sauntering but it can reach speeds up to 20 mph. Image from March 2018, Three Sisters Springs, Crystal River, Florida.
In comparison, other ocean friends can move along pretty quickly too. Octopus can exceed 25 mph, Continue reading
A bright, excited and eager face greets you with overwhelming curiosity, wrinkly skin and a messy snout with algae not yet washed off. I’m talking about this adorable baby manatee, but I could be illustrating many other species of cute little ones across our planet!
Baby manatee with a messy snout and fish friend explores his environment in the springs. Recent image. Three Sisters Springs, Crystal River, Florida.
This is another in my series telling stories behind my recent images from the past two seasons. Continue reading
Imagine… A mammal that lives in shallow waters, eats an array of over 60 different marine and freshwater aquatic plants and literally feels its environment with tiny body hairs! And what is up with that cool manatee snout?
That’s what I’m talking about in this recent photo, the manatee’s prehensile snout.
“1: adapted for seizing or grasping especially by wrapping around”
A manatee flexes its snout with help from a flipper. Recent image. Three Sisters Springs, Crystal River, Florida.
What? You mean to tell me the manatee’s snout has about the same accurate sensitivity as the prehensile snout of an elephant? Continue reading
Manatees definitely have a gentle soul. I’ve observed a lot of male and female manatee behavior and I can assure you they feel tenderness and have a heart!
Next in my series of telling the stories behind various images, is this “tender touch”. I posted this photograph on Friday’s “International Day of Peace”. We can certainly learn something from the peaceful manatees!
A male manatee nudges a female with a gentle touch on her forehead. Nikon d7200 in Subal housing/8″ dome/Tokina 10-17/natural light. March 2018, Three Sisters Springs, Crystal River, Florida.You may have seen news photos or video of groups of manatees mating Continue reading
Lovely blue spring water with adorable pudgy wrinkly faces and warm Florida rainbow sunlight? Sign me up! That’s what one who loves manatees dreams about! We are lucky to still have opportunities to experience these charismatic sirens on their own terms.
I’m updating my site with recent manatee photographs from the last two fall/winter seasons: 2016/2017 and 2017/2018. There’s over twenty new images already with more to come. Manatee photography has always been an adventure and a challenge, but I relish the challenge. I’m just glad there are still some opportunities to chronicle the manatee’s antics in pretty conditions.
Here’s a partial screenshot of my Oceangrant.com site (Portfolio Site link in menu above). If you click on New Images you will see new additions over the next few weeks. All from the last two seasons:
I’ll tell you a story about one of the new images.
My last post about all the amazing manatees that have made many of my birthdays memorable, drummed up a lot of interest. I thought I’d delineate which manatees and friends showed up on which of my Feb. 11th birthdays these past few years 2011-2018 and tell a bit of the story behind the shots. Of course I’ve seen manatees on birthdays before these years, but this is the best number for an impactful photo collage.
I’ll start with the latest, Feb 11, 2018 Continue reading
Selfies…, well we used to call them self-portraits, but now it seems they have taken on a viral life of their own! Those who know me realize I’m always very focused on making the most of my time photographing manatees in Florida’s striking springs. I know I’m a bit light on photographs of myself as it’s not an area I put much attention on. Mainly I want compelling photographs of Florida manatees, the lovely springs, and polite passive observation of our Sirenian friends. Therefore, I often forget that some people would like to see pictures of me in the springs.
Periodically I do get requests, usually from magazines, for a photograph of myself underwater with a manatee. I didn’t have much in my archives, so I took up the new challenge! These three “selfies” are just the beginning of what turned out to be numerous photos from this day, the tip of the iceberg so to speak. I donned a more flattering mask than my usual black non-photogenic one I always wear. Then I really hoped there would be an interested manatee who wanted to be in the frame with me. It turned out I got much much more than I bargained for!?
Manatees are curious about what Carol was up to? My vision was to include as much of the beauty of the springs, the striking light, lovely blue sky and engaging manatees in my self-portraits. I wanted to show what it is like to be underwater and photograph these unique marine mammals. February 2017.
Since I’ve got several manatee projects on-going, I’ll include just three photographs from this experiment. The self-portrait showcase will continue after I get caught up. Continue reading
Happy New Year! May 2017 be filled with happiness while flourishing and prospering!?
Manatees know a thing or two about New Years, prosperity and all! In fact I put together this video chronicling some wise manatee advice for the upcoming year, 2017. This is all manatee footage from my recent sojourns to the springs in December 2016, so the sage wisdom is current and up-to-date! Here’s the “Happy New Year’s Advice from the Manatees” on Vimeo:
2016 was chocked-full of exciting events for us! There’s too much to summarize in this post, so here’s our “Holiday Greetings from the Grants 2016”
Last, there is definitely a bit of “Auld Lang Syne”. Continue reading
Here’s another short video I’ve shared on Facebook, Instagram and Vimeo chronicling baby manatee adventures! I think you will find manatee calves and their mothers are not so unlike us, in many many ways??
Little Manatees – Born To Explore! by Carol Grant on Vimeo:
I’ll have more video to come, but manatee season will be ramping up soon so forgive me if I’m busy underwater observing the precocious little manatees!
Baby animals have a particular penchant for being very cute! Little manatee calves rank right up there with the absolutely most adorable junior creatures I’ve encountered! I’d go out on a limb and say they are the “cutest” but I don’t want to upset any other animal moms, especially the mother humpback whales who I witnessed underwater showing off their own offspring a few years ago!
Since I upgraded my underwater camera outfit a couple of years ago to the Nikon d7200 I’ve been able to take some nice HD video and my catalog of clips of adorable young manatees is growing. I still have it housed in a trusty Subal underwater housing and their glass dome port works well for video also. Before this camera that produces video I used a GoPro mounted on top of my setup and captured some incredible moments also, although not quite at the quality of my Nikon. Still, my video vaults are bursting at the seams with cute little manatee antics and I want to share them with you.
Here is the first in a series of manatee compilation videos. I will keep them under 60 seconds so I can post on Instagram, etc. Possibly I’ll put together a longer one if anyone can’t get enough of the pudgy little manatees?. Best, Carol
Manatees Are Just Too Cute! On Vimeo:
Thirty years ago today, May 1st, 1986, I moved to Florida! I was a California gal, born and raised, who lived all over California, the Western US and Hawaii, but something called to me from Florida and I came…! Was it the manatees? I had been fascinated by “sea cows” since I was a very little girl. Manatees and so much more…, I love Florida and it became the place I felt most at home!
This bit of manatee video sums it up to me! Of course there is much more to my thirty-year anniversary in Florida than manatees, but the beautiful, natural, majestic and nonchalant nature of this unique marine mammal says a lot about my quest!
An Adult Male Manatee Exhales With Gusto in the Warm Paradise of Three Sisters Springs, Crystal River, Florida. January 2015.
I am looking back on moving here to Florida thirty years ago and the adventures that have transpired! Continue reading