|Scene from Crystal River Wildlife Refuge|
|It really wasn't that windy!|
|A storm was brewing though!|
The Withlacooche State Forest covers thousands of acres in this general area. There are several tracts, both large and small, that provide great hiking or dog walking. Debbie and I have visited several of these tracts. I did eight and a half miles solo the other day in less than 3 hours. The terrain is almost entirely flat so one can cover the distance quite quickly.
Less than five minutes up the road is the premier Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park (HSWSP).
The primary focus of the park is protection of Manatees. They are SUCH CUTE, HARMLESS creatures! There are several manatees there in captivity, some that are to be released and others that are too imprinted to return to open water.
This entire area is home to hundreds of manatees due to the warm spring water that feeds the local rivers. Consequently, manatee protection and awareness is the salient theme here.
The park also has a great bird habitat.
|We're trying to learn to identify common Florida birds. Our best guess on this one ... Anhinga?|
|Whatever he/she is ...lunch is being enjoyed!|
|White Ibis for sure|
|Can't mistake the Roseate Spoonbill|
|We can tell this is a Wood Stork by the bald, black head|
|Loved seeing the Bald Eagles|
We also saw alligators
and a fox.
Additional there's a brief boat ride you can take to enter the park. The atmosphere of the park is very calm. It's easy to just mosey, take your time and learn about Florida wildlife. Debbie and I have already been there twice. After our initial visit we decided to purchase an annual pass to the Florida State Parks. We figure we'll justify the expense during the 6 months we're here in Florida. We returned to HSWSP with Pop and Marge.
|Pop and Marge at Wildlife Park|
The weather has been beautiful!
Eat an orange!