|J.Q. Rose with a manatee (statue) at Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park, |
Homosassa Springs, Florida
Hello and welcome to my travelogue. Our daughter and family visited us for a week here in Florida. (My DH and I are snowbirds, flying away from the harsh winters up North to sunny Florida where we can enjoy sunshine--most of time--and warmer breezes.)
I have posted photos of the Homasassa Springs Wildlife State Park for you today. It is a wonderland for kids and kids-at-heart who love animals. These amazing creatures in this park are animals native to Florida. Well, yes, except for the storied hippopotamus who has been a resident there for 50 years. When the State of Florida took over the park, the residents did not want to give up Lu, the hippo since he'd been living there for years. (Plus, really, who wants a hippopotaus??) So Lu is NOT a native Florida species, just in case you're wondering. So join my family and me as we share some of the sites.
|Lovely twenty minute boat ride on the Pepper River takes you into the park.|
The banks are lined with holly bushes. Native Americans called the beautiful red berries, peppers.
|Lu, the famous hippo who was a Hollywood star in movies and commercials until age 6 when he was no longer "cute" enough to be in front of the camera or as easy to handle. Just celebrated his 55th birthday in January,|
|The birds who stay in the park are injured and cannot leave, |
but wild birds come and go througout the grounds. So beautiful.
|I love love love these awkward pelicans.|
|Colorful flamingos--a whole flock of them.|
|And just because I have become a collector of flamingo statues, jewelry, signs since the book cover of my e-book, Sunshine Boulevard, sported a pair of flamingos, I included two photos of flamingos.|
|Don't these owls look wise?|
|A highlight of the park is an underground water observatory. When visiting this glass walled building in the springs, I was spell bound by the huge amount of fish in the springs. We've visited several times but this was the most fish I had ever seen.|
|The observatory at the springs|
|Manatee, the gentle giant, are such an interesting creature. They have no predators and are vegetarians. It's difficult to see this one I know since she is underwater. We saw a group of at least forty in the river on this visit.|