Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sandy and Homosassa Park again

We headed out this morning and thought we would kayak in the Gulf of Mexico.  Well, the weather was a bit messy with hurricane Sandy out there.  The day has been overcast and windy and we even had some rain.  So we decided that we had no business being out in the open seas is a very small boat even though the hurricane was on the other side of a skinny state.    The pic above is the gulf.  We were watching the birds in the area and they were all standing along the beach.  It appeared they had decided that today was a no fly day.  So we decided they must know something and we headed home to try this another day.
We stopped off at a pier on the Crystal River which goes by the rv resort.  This is a bird that was fishing near the pier.
We are looking down the Crystal River.  

Thought I would give you some more information and pics on the wildlife park. 
Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park is a rehabilitation center for injured and orphaned West Indian manatees until they are returned to the wild. The park's centerpiece is a first-magnitude freshwater spring, which produces millions of gallons of crystal-clear water each hour with the spring outflow creating the Homosassa River. Visitors are given a rare opportunity to observe Florida's native wildlife in a natural setting and can stroll along the paved trails and boardwalks to see manatees and alligators, black bear and bobcats, and tiny Key deer and otters at close range. Many birds species, from colorful wood ducks and roseate spoonbills to majestic birds of prey and whooping cranes, also inhabit the park.

Some pretty birds. 


 Florida Steve.

Pelican nesting island in the park.  Notice the couple on the left.  He is bringing pretty nesting stuff and she is on the nest.  In the foreground you can see a wire basket thingy.  This is a sturdy frame for a future nest. 

A sleeping Florida panther.   They are smaller than a cougar of the West.  They have longer legs and smaller feetTheir coat is darker and shorter too.   

Resident Hippo
The hippopotamus named Lucifer first came to the Homosassa Springs Attraction in 1964 as part of Ivan Tors Animal Actors. Lucifer, or Lu for short, is now one of the park's longest residents. He celebrated his 52nd birthday in 2012.  The story we were told on the boat going into the park is that before it was a rehab place for manatees it was a wild animal park.  I mean exotic animals and they wanted to return it to a Florida wild animal park.  So they had to find homes for all the exotic animals.  Well long story short all animals found homes, but one huge hippo.  So a petition was signed and Lu became an honorary citizen of Florida so he could stay in the Florida wild animal park.

1940s Fish Bowl
Elmo Reed opened Nature's Giant Fish Bowl, the first attraction in Homosassa Springs, in the 1940s and this three-tiered observatory was built alongside the main spring. I tried to upload a pic or two on the fish bowl but the computer, and not me, is not going to do it right now, thank you.  So look at yesterdays and you can see it

Yucky, but cute???

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