The conservation officer I talked to said the manatees were in the spring & the best time for viewing was in the morning.
I was so filled with anticipation, like a tiny tot on Christmas morning, I woke Don at 6 am to go see the manatees. “We’ll eat something on the way”, I told him. Don said he hadn’t seen me this excited about seeing something since Disney World.
He’d barely had the truck parked & I was out of my seat & gone…headed for Manatee Spring. I made my way down to the edge & looked, & looked, & looked. No manatees.
Okay maybe they’re making their way down the tributary that runs between the spring & the Suwannee River. I followed the boardwalk stopping at each viewing deck , peering deeply & longingly into the crystal clear waters below. Nary a ripple. Hmm, I have no idea where Don & Tucker are.
I continue further along the boardwalk ending at the pier that juts out into the Suwannee River. It’s hauntingly beautiful here. I never imagined the Suwannee to be this lovely, this wild, this wide. We’re here so early that the fog is still rising from the water. Don finally catches up to me.
We see Turkey Vultures, a Great Egret, turtles & a school of Long Nose Gar. We see deer, squirrels & a Cormorant. No manatees. I am so disappointed. Don offers to take me to Sea World. “It’s not the same thing”, I tell him.
Four hours later & the only manatee we’ve seen………….
…………is this little fella.
We are glad we came though. This is truly an alluring place.
Here’s lookin’ at you kid………………………