January Manatees Times Seven

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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.Manatee_mom_calf_20Jan-2609

Due to cold weather and large numbers of manatees, Three Sisters Springs has been closed sometimes, but open others.

I have planned to be in the water for the springs’ open times and even though the rather wild weather has stirred up the water a lot, I’ve still found some windows of opportunity. The mother and calf above were a joy to encounter and the warming natural sunlight felt nice for me too!

#2 – Over/Under of Manatee Entering the Warm Back Springs at Three Sisters Springs, Crystal River, Florida. Wed., Jan. 20th.Manatee_split_20Jan-2472

My seven photographic selections are weighted towards over/under also known as split-level photographs. These are some of the hardest images to successfully execute, but when they work the view both under and above water portions tell a compelling story and the natural dramatic lighting is very striking!

#3 – Four Manatees Find Favorite Spots in the Sunlight to Rest and Warm Up! Three Sisters Springs, Wed. Jan. 20th.Manatee_several_split_20Jan-2585

Even though there just may have been a short interval the back springs were open to snorkelers, I have found my time there very productive and fascinating! Manatees never cease to amaze me with their resourceful creativeness and curiosity!

#4 – Manatee Poses Over the Warm Big Sister Spring. Wed. Jan. 13th.Manatee_looking_spring_13Jan-2364

Some days have been clearer than others. Wednesday, January 13th was a bit cloudy with sediment in the water column. Still, the springs always change and there were pockets of nice water with very interactive manatees.

#5 – Dramatic Sun Rays Pierce the Crystal Water of Three Sisters Springs as a Manatee Moves Towards Its Fav. Spot! Mon. Jan. 11th.Manatee_split_light_11Jan-1362

The sunlight dancing on the spring’s sandy bottom mesmerizes me every time. I try to catch the light when the natural world’s dramatic play is at its very bright crescendo!

#6 – Sometimes Simplicity Speaks Volumes as Does This Manatee Sporting a Red Algae Coat in Soft Dramatic Light. Thurs. Jan. 7th.Manatee_red_look_7Jan-1363

I continue to delight in simple, single manatee images. The communication displayed in the photograph above tells me there is wise intelligence there we haven’t yet begun to understand.

#7 – Pick a Bright Spot in the Springs! The Warm Sunlight’s Where It’s At! Three Sisters Springs, Crystal River, Florida. Thurs. Jan. 7th.Manatee_split_two_light_7Jan-1364

It never ceases to amaze me how the manatees know exactly where they want to warm up at Three Sisters Springs! What a delight it is to hang-back and take in the lovely wide view!

So there it is! Seven images all, so far, this January. I have more too!

Thanks to everyone on Facebook who has posted for the #challengeonnaturephotography. It has been most interesting seeing all the variety from all over the world! I hope my contribution is well-received. I think the manatees would like the seven images I picked from their recent excursions!

Best, Carol