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…
People.com recently posted “The Sexiest Manatees Alive”. You couple that with some great new manatee viewing data, along with my photographs on the VisitCitrus.com site, and a post is in order! I know I said my next post would be about recently arrived manatees, but while I consult with researchers about an unusual behavior I witnessed, here’s some fun manatee buzz!
Honestly, let’s give “Little Boy Blue Manatee” a break here. He was a documented orphan I photographed nursing off at least two different females in 2010! Due to his rotund appearance it was concluded he was adopted and doing great. He’s a boy…, he didn’t stick it out…, he just has a lot down there… and he’s proud of it! Who knew People.com would notice for their “sexy manatee” post? Here’s the actual photograph:
Little Boy Blue Manatee Floats Over A Warm Spring in January 2010
Visit Citrus has also put together an updated website showcasing how to politely observe manatees. Many of my photographs are used. Continue reading →
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 →
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.
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 →
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 Photographer
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 →
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.
For many years now I have been observing and photographing manatees in and around the springs of Crystal River, Florida. Continue reading →
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!
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.
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!
Three-panel manatee protection sign at a boat launch. Put up by USFWS, Crystal River, Florida.
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, 2014
Manatees “sleep with fishes” and they do seem to enjoy it so!
Today is Friday the 13th! Though superstition calls for this to be an unlucky day, my experience is it usually has a strong element of luck to it! CC the Manatee was lucky he had so many people concerned during his rehabilitation and after his release — but two weeks ago CC was unlucky enough to encounter what was thought to be a speeding boat, ending his life.
CC the Manatee Finding His Way After Release
Orphaned and weighing only 55 pounds, CC was rescued from the Caloosahatchee River in Ft. Myers, Florida on July 1, 2006. Many manatees that small have a hard time surviving after rescue, but CC triumphed! You could call him a very lucky manatee. Continue reading →