Sunday, November 14, 2010
wakulla spring state park
we made a little side trip today that we've been meaning to do for a while now. we headed about an hour south to Wakulla Spring State Park to see the manatees, alligators, birds, etc. i am not sure how i grew up so close and never managed to go-- but i was really glad we went! as were the girls, who really enjoyed it as well. the area is really gorgeous (bald cypress, crystal clear springs, etc) but the wildlife is even better. growing up around here, we heard alot about the endangered manatees and the efforts to restore their numbers, but didn't know that they were actually making a comeback. six years ago they didn't see a single manatee at the park, but the numbers have steadily grown to and this year they've documented 52 of them! they are really amazing to see up close-- kind of like a mix between a hippopotamus and a cow, with the skin of an elephant, swimming underwater! we were also really impressed with how many big alligators we saw. we were even able to see two males fighting (one of them lost for sure), which is supposedly a really rare sight. the girls were pretty amazed by the whole boat ride, so much so that they were pretty still and quiet for the whole time, soaking it all in. i definitely think we will make the trip back here in future years, when they'll enjoy it even more.
for those who are interested, there is alot more info out there on the underground cave system online, as well as a really cool human history. human and mechanized exploration of the caves haven't been able to see where it ends or even how deep it is in some places, but scientists think it might stretch north all the way to tennessee! very cool.