Long Key State Park (Florida Keys)

This is an amazing state park.  It is a birdwatcher's dream.  The entire park runs along the coastline - it is beautiful.  Sunrises and sunsets are breathtaking.  And, the park people who run it do a very good job; they run a tight ship and it shows.  Everything from the campsites to the restrooms are immaculate.  Nice job the Florida State Park people do!

 
An awesome little hawk.  I was surprised he didn't fly away.

 
A magnificent frigate bird (female)

 
A yellow crowned night heron

 
Great heron fishing

 
The shore line is just beautiful!  All campsites have this view

 
Campsite # 3.  It was SO nice!

 
The accommodations!

 
Plenty of space for everything.

 
This is the view all the campers have.

 
There are pathways, boardwalks, etc., all through this park

 
Oh, YEAH, life is good. 

 
A heron

 
Ok, I'm glad I'm not on one of those!

 
Sun starts to go down.  Beautiful!

 
It gets prettier and prettier!
 



 
SUNRISE!

 
An awesome, home-cooked breakfast!

 
This was DELICIOUS!  Nothing tastes as good that when it's cooked on an open fire!

 

Blue Spring State Park (Florida)

Blue Spring State Park is just a bit north of Orlando, Florida, and during the winter months is a great place to go to see manatees.  Today, there were about 65 manatees in the spring.  The park spring is into its regularly scheduled closure for all water-based activities from November 15 to March 1, so there were no boats or swimming allowed; but, in the summer months, you can rent canoes at this state park, as well as camp, hike, or rent some cabins. 






There were a lot of baby manatees today.










 I would imagine that they are park people, since during the time that the manatees are there, no boats or other water activities are allowed.  During summer, you can swim in the spring.


I cannot imagine having a better job than this guy!!





Some of the manatees came right up to the boat.
I guess it was a curiosity.








The manatees were the main attraction for me today, but the rest of the park is really nice also.  There's a nice camping area, some cabins you can rent, lots of picnic space and pavilions, and a lot of hiking areas (including the boardwalk along the spring).  This park is home to not only the manatees, but also black bears, alligators and a large variety of wading birds.  During the summer months you can rent canoes or take a guided boat tour along the river.   It was a very nice state park!

















It was nice to see all these kids outside and enjoying the park and learning about manatees.  This sure beats video games!




It's not like I was going to jump in this water anyway!







Me, enjoying the beauty of this park!