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
What does Christmas have to do with Manatees? In Florida, a lot! By the time the holidays roll around, most of this area’s manatees are sheltering in and around the warm freshwater springs or using various warm water power plant channels to stay warm. With our early cold snaps this season, one is sure to see some manatees jaunting about. Now that’s another special Christmas miracle if you ask me.
Manatees celebrating the festive aspects of the season. Taken on Monday of this week in the canals of Kings Bay, Crystal River, Florida.
Here is our “Holiday Greetings from the Grants” we have been sending out to friends and family for over 25 years. I’ll post it here too: 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
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
Happy Holidays 2017! I wish everyone a fun and joyous time with relatives and friends! A few days ago this sweet mother manatee and her calf swam up behind me. It was quite the seasonal surprise! Of course the charismatic pair got dibs to be featured on our holiday E-Card:
We have had odd weather lately, either too hot or too cool and not much in-between, On December 19th I visited the springs when it wasn’t too warm or too cold. Here is another Continue reading
Manatees for Halloween? As it turns out it’s not spooky at all… I love seeing my sirenian friends on Halloween – no costumes required! Then I packed up right away and headed off to DEMA (Dive Equipment and Marketing Association) convention in Orlando, relaying tales of the Halloween manatees!
Last time I saw manatees on Halloween was in 2012 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
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:
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:
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!
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
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!
Would you like to know more about the article and the photographs contained therein? Continue reading
Little manatees are truly special! Seeing them in the clear blue waters of Florida’s freshwater springs is indeed magical.
My second encounter with this robust little male calf occurred two days ago on a “lucky” Friday the 13th. I’ll call this calf “Max” for our narrative, as we don’t know what his mother calls him? 🙂
[Note: These color photographs were taken two days before the current USFWS sanctuary closures went into effect Nov.15-March 31 at Three Sisters Springs.]
During the peak winter season when manatees gather in the warm springs there are hardly any blades of tasty greens left… Continue reading