I love these little guys.....well, not little. Big...REALLY big.
I never really knew what they were until we lived in Florida. You did know we lived in Florida, right? I'm Texan, born and bred, but Florida is the ONLY other state that I would move to. But, I digress
I guess if I saw a picture of them, I would know what they were, but I never had experience with them. I mean, why would I....growing up in west Texas and all? I haven't thought about manatee in a long time...until this morning. I was flipping through the TV and I stopped on "Sunrise Earth." What a genius thing, actually! They showed manatee. They are so beautiful.
My Florida experiences were a lot of fun (some scary...but that is a whole "nother" post for a whole "nother" day.) The animals were the coolest. I used to go to a park on a river during my lunch time. Every now and then, you could see dolphins playing, you would hear splashes in the water, see really TALL birds walking along or even see a space shuttle shooting into space.
While in Florida, we lived between 2 rivers. From my front door, crossing the river, crossing the barrier island and hitting the sand of the beach took all of 10 minutes. What a dream! It was on one of those journeys when I saw a LOT of folk gathered at one of the little coves, between what is called, "The Fingers." I pulled over because I'm nosy....heh....no other reason.
Come to find out, the manatee were migrating down and like to come into the fresh water. Right in that area was some sort of plant (not the vegetarian kind, but industrial) that heated the water and drew the manatee to the area. I was fascinated and talked and talked to one nice lady who was giving me the "411" on these creatures. I soon found out that she was a reporter for the local paper....yep, I was in the paper. Cool, huh?
Well, my hubby and I often went to the same location to see these guys. And often, during my lunch hour, I could see them in the river as they came up for air and would sun a bit.
Before we moved back west, my hubby and I drove down to Key West. We decided to enjoy a toast at sunset...standing thigh deep in the water. It wasn't long before one of us was almost knocked off our feet by one of these guys. They love people. We patted them as they swam around us. It was fascinating. I remember almost crying at the thought of this giant ocean mammal being so close....so gentle.
I'm a full-time mom to 4 wonderful boys ages 16, 14, 12 and 10. My sweet hubby, who happens to be my best friend, is a pilot. We have been married for 24 years, but have known each other since 1st grade. I was a middle school math teacher, but began staying home with the birth of my 4th child. After being home for 8 years, I went back into teaching. I currently teach 4th grade math.