Friday, February 24, 2012

I held a snake!! And saw a manatee!

Hope you aren't sick of my vacation posts yet! I'm near the end. Since we've been back things have been really hard at work, so I almost feel like I'm back having a great time when I'm making these! We're already planning our next getaway. So anyway...
My aunt Lori work at a nature center and told us to come by before we headed out of town if we had a chance. I'm so glad we did! 
The main event was holding their pine snake, Precious. I had never held a snake before and it was so neat! Her belly was cold and felt like glass! Lori said she is the sweetest snake. She is the one they put around kid's necks when they come to the center.
Seriously awesome. I never really thought before about how a snake is basically one big muscle. She was surprisingly strong! And seems so curious! I thought I would be scared to do it, but once I saw her sweet little face I wasn't scared at all!
They have lots of reptiles there. This is hognose snake, so cute!
And this is a glass lizard. It is a lizard with no legs. When she was telling us about it I was thinking "Uhhh isn't that just a snake?" But it seems so obvious when you actually see it. They can lose their tail just like a skink, and they blink, which snakes don't do. 
Box turtle! I love that wrinkly skin.

We went for a walk on their trail too. It is so interesting being somewhere so different from what I am used too. The ground, the trees, the plants, the wild life, pretty much everything.
That sign made me think of the deathly hallows. Of course.
Those little red plants are carnivorous! So interesting.
Thanks for showing us around Lori! It was so fun!
After we left the wild life center we went to Blue Springs State Park. In the winter manatees hang out in the spring because it is warmer than the river. I had been swimming there in the summer about 10 years ago and it was awesome. But I really wanted to see a manatee! You can keep up with their count on their website and see how many manatees are there every day! Sadly the weather had been warm lately so most of the manatees were out in the river. The sighting board only said 3 manatees, instead of  over 100 like I was hoping.

The spring isn't huge so it doesn't take a super long time to walk all along it. I was getting bummed thinking I wouldn't get to see a manatee. 
Then we saw one! YES!
And there he is coming up for air! It was so cool. I wish there had been more, but just seeing this one dude made the drive worth it! Apparently you can download a guide and identify a lot of them by the scars on their backs from getting hit by motorboats. So sad.
Travis is obviously a manatee fan. Haha, actually someone who used to tattoo him was like "Look at this hilarious flash, I'll do this for free on anyone who will get it!" and of course Travis did it. When he showed it to me, I could just see the flames at first and I said, "That better not be a flaming skull!"

So, mission accomplished! Manatee spotted!


  1. I'm a huge, huuuuge manatee fan. I'd have a flamin' tee tattooed on me haha go Travis. I'm so jealous- i've never managed to see one in the flesh!

    1. i'd seen on at a zoo in ohio once, but it was so much cooler in the wild!

  2. There are 2 (that I know of) Blue Springs parks in Florida. I used to camp every weekend during the SUmmer and I believe I have stayed there. If it has a big spring that you can dive into and also a camp ground than I have. One time we were snorkeling and 2 manatees swam into the sping/public area. It was amazeballs.

    1. so awesome! when we swam there years ago i kept hoping a manatee would swim in, but one never did!

  3. That tattoo is so awesome! I wanna see a manatee. They seem so unreal.

  4. oh i want to see a manatee! they are so neat. that looks like a really fun trip!

  5. I love Manatees too and turtles, but not sure about snakes!

  6. What a cool trip!

    Did you find out you could speak parseltongue?

  7. oh my, i have to visit blue springs one day! looks like pretty exciting adventures :)

  8. I got to swim with a manatee once... we went on some random day trip and there were a few tour boats out on this lake and out boat was the only one to let people go in the water. The manatee actually came right up to us and let us stroke her, then she went away and brought back her baby! Magical. Apparently they weren't really supposed to let us in the water because of the alligators, which they only told us when we got out the water. Explains why none of the other boats were allowed in the water.

    1. that is so awesome! i'm glad you didn't get eaten by a gator. haha.


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