During the cooler months, the manatee migrate from the Gulf up rivers and close to protected warmer waters like those found in bayous and canals, streams and near power plants. Unfortunately, the last time our friend, Clare, was in town from New Zealand there was nary a manatee to be found. Even the protected basin of Spring Bayou here in Tarpon Springs was too cold for the big creatures. Last year when Anne, Janet, Clare and I went on our search, we did see three large dolphins rounding up fish for their lunch but not a manatee to save our lives. Ditto for Pam's last visit and for Jo's as well. Any wonder my friends think I have fantasized this whole thing.
So, today, when E and I took our daily bike ride, I picked the route past Craig Park. Yesterday when we rode, the young men of the church were putting the little boats into position for the Epiphany Celebration which will be this coming Thurs. Our town, which has a large and strong Greek community, hosts the largest Epiphany celebration in the United States and the Church prepares long in advance of the event. Placing these boats drew the curiosity of the manatees yesterday and I had hoped they would still be in the basin today.
AHA! I only had my little pocket camera but these are the REAL LIVE manatee! So there all ye of little faith...lol.
This is Craig Park, home of our historical museum, part of our civic center, the gem in the middle of the Golden Crescent that surrounds Spring Bayou and home to many of the festivals hosted in our town. Wonder if I should apply to work at the Chamber of Commerce, I love our little town so much.
(Oh, and E has decided for his New Year's Resolution to cook his way through the countries and areas of countries that we visited on our cruise. Last night he fixed Turkish Spiced Chicken Kebabs with pomegranate relish and Tahini Yogurt) Be still my heart!)