Sept. 12, 2016 Manatee Springs SP Day 2

We had some rain overnight, but woke up to clearing skies and sunshine.  We had a leisurely morning and made plans to go swimming in the springs this afternoon.  Manatee Springs is a first magnitude springs that produces an average of 100 million gallons of clear, cool (72 degrees) water daily.  In the winter, manatees swim here in the warmer waters of the springs.  It is also a popular spot for snorkelers and divers.  We made lunch and packed up our things to go to the springs.  The spring was a beautiful green color surrounded by deeper blue waters.

I was the first to test out the waters.  It was chilly, but I entered the water a little at a time. 

Once I got in, it wasn’t so bad.  In fact, it was very refreshing.  The current was fairly strong and kept pushing me out towards the opening to the Suwanee River.  I got a lot of exercise just fighting the current.

I coaxed Bob to get in and he, too, took it a little at a time.  We used our noodles to do a little floating.

We swam for awhile until someone pointed out this snake sunning itself on the rocks.  Time to get out!

The day felt cooler than yesterday and after we had cooled off enough, we took our chairs and sat in the shade of the huge live oak trees in the park.  We were entertained by some very friendly squirrels who came to visit under our chairs.  They were very tame and are obviously used to people.  We heard the loud screech and rap-rap-rap of a pileated woodpecker that flew above us. He settled on a tree in plain view so we could watch him search and tap for bugs in the trees.

We had the park to ourselves most of the day, but later on a few brave souls came to test the waters.  We placed our chairs and cooler in the truck and then took the short walk along the raised boardwalk to the mouth of the spring where it intersected the Suwanee River.

Most of the walk was in the shade of the cypress trees.  We spotted this lone white heron fishing for food among the cypress roots.  He stood in stark contrast with his white feathers among the dark roots.

Further along the boardwalk, we spotted another snake basking in the sun along the shore.  I guess they are pretty common around here.  

We walked back to the truck and took a short drive through the other sections of the campground to see how they compared to where we were.  Back at the campsite, we brought Auggie outside while we hung up our towels and set out our chairs and noodles to dry.  Auggie did his usual exploring around the area and noticed something of interest in the firepit, but couldn’t figure out how to get in it. 

We relaxed a little before grilling chicken for dinner.  Auggie and I took our evening walk as the sky darkened.  As we walked along, I saw a buck crossing the road ahead of me. 

He left 4 doe back in one of the campsites as he moved on into the woods.  Auggie never noticed him….or if he did he didn’t know what it was.  We got back to the trailer before any mosquitoes knew we were out there.  TV is very limited so we watched a movie that we brought along from our collection.  It was a great day! 

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