2004 Snowbirds!

 

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Spring, 2004!  Mom and Dad managed to escape the long and cold Wisconsin winter and spend some time basking in the Florida sunshine.  Of course, the first night they were here the temps were in the 30s and all good Floridians were wearing their parkas, while mom and dad and all the other northerners were changing into shorts and hawaiian shirts!  Well, the weather did warm up...into record setting temps in the 80s for a number of days.  Here are some of the pictures

Click on the picture to see the full size pic!

Saturday, March 6, Trip to Blue Springs State Park
Mom and Dad, shortly after our arrival at Blue Springs State Park, near Orange City, about 15 miles north of my house.
Yes, thatis a manatee, the main attraction at Blue Springs on cold days. It was in the 80s the day we visited, and this was the lone manatee.  In very cold weather in the winter, up to 180 manatees come to the springs seeking the warmer water
Relaxing along the board walk.
Dad, soaking up some sun.
Mom, soaking up some sun.
Mom and Dad on the tour boat. We took a two hour tour of the St. John's river area.  The next few pictures are a glimpse of some of the abundant wildlife we saw.
A Little Blue Heron, watching us...or watching out for gators....
Turtles.  We saw hundreds of turtles, perched on logs, enjoying the sun
Mom is getting an up close picture of this gator, about 10 or so
The picture does not do this justice. This was a VERY BIG gator....very big.  Over 12 feet, at least...and huge, just plain huge.
Another bird in a tree, but for the life of me, I can't remember what it is!
Another very large gator.  We saw several dozen gators of all sizes, from about 4 feet on up.  Gators do not like each other much (except for eating and mating), and so they are usually seen in ones (alone).
A Great Blue Heron. We say hundreds of birds, and quite a few of these, too.
Another pic of Mom and Dad on the boat.
I had to try this, picture of the three of us, taken by me. Turned out OK, I guess
Cypress knees (the little things sticking up) along the banks of the rivers.  Before people came by and logged these areas years ago, there were trees up to 21 feet in diameter here, some thousands of years old.  Now there are few large ones as Cypress are very slow growing. Progress??
An Osprey, waiting for its mate. Ospreys mate for life. The male builds the nest, the female rearranges it and lays the eggs.  After the youngsters leave, the pair split, then meet up again the next year, same time, same place, to have another batch of young.
   

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