Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

At Blue Spring: Are you a Questioner ??

Monday February 24, 2014
Blue Springs State Park
Orange City, Florida



I take a lot of flack from my family for asking so many questions.

Not sure when I developed this habit.  Perhaps at age three as my mother once told me she got so tired of my asking “WHY”.   I see this as my inquisitive mind and my keen interest in everything.  Pretty good rationalization.  Others might say it’s tiresome and nosy.  I guess you’ll decide which camp you fall into.  



QUESTION #1:   Was actually in the title. 


QUESTION #2:       Are the manatee still here?



We couldn’t look yesterday afternoon when we got here because of the rain so I’m out this morning just after sunrise which admittedly isn’t all that early yet.  I take the path just a little ways down from our campsite over the the really lovely boardwalk that runs along the Blue Spring Run.  I know with the warm weather they won’t be anywhere near the spring itself if they are even here.  So when I get to the central area around the store and gift shop, I turn left and walk down toward the Spring run’s mouth at the St. John’s river.



On the way I stop to see the lovely mosaic manatee at one of the overlooks. I’ve taken to calling her Mandy.  She’s the only manatee here.






No manatee until I get almost to the boat dock and then I see 4 although only one is close enough to get its picture.  The sun reflecting on the water makes it difficult to photograph but I am really happy to see them here.  The warmer it gets, the fewer there are.  The ranger doing the count today says he’s seen a total of 8.  Well that’s twice as many as I see.  




When I ask what’s the record for this winter he says 361 on a day in December.  Wow!  That’s even more than we saw last year.  I think it was 270 or so.  When there are that many they play and nuzzle each other.  I can spend hours watching them.




David shows up and we walk down to the boat dock where you can take a naturalist led cruise of the St. John’s River for $22, tax included ($20 for seniors).  We’ve heard very good things about it but because we have kayaks and can see the river first hand, we’ve never taken it.




We head back up the boardwalk to return for breakfast and this is what greets us.  This tree fell and crushed the section we had walked through not ten minutes before.  Luckily it was before the park opened and no one was at that spot on the boardwalk at the time.





David says he heard the crash but thought it was the guys who were banging around moving the for rent kayaks and canoes rather aggressively.   How long it will be before you can walk completely down the spring run boardwalk again?   Today we take the trail that leads through the woods back to the Gift shop area.




We have a late breakfast and I wait for the Dell Service Technician to show up to replace my motherboard.  I’ve been having wifi connect issues for quite a while.  Back in December they sent me a  new or refurbished card (not sure which), that fixed the problem for a short time and then it came back.  On Friday I had to reboot my machine 6 times before it would find the wifi.  I had been putting up with two and even three reboots for months but 6 was the straw……..   So I called Dell, jumped through their hoops and they scheduled this replacement.  Unlike installing the wifi card, I decline to do the motherboad myself.  This is why I buy Dell, 24/7, onsite technical and English speaking phone support.  I pay a little more for it but it is VERY worth it to me.   The guy comes, replaces mother and daughter boards and leaves.



QUESTIONS #5 & 6: 

We decide to go back down and walk up the other end of the boardwalk that isn’t closed to the actual spring area.   Isn’t this path between the campground and the spring nice?






We stop at the gift store and as usual David can spend a LOT of time looking at everything.  I’m a once through, check out the things I like and done.   If I didn’t already have a giant Winnie the Pooh on my bed, this sea turtle might have made its way home with me.  Isn’t it GREAT???







We do make one purchase, a couple of those flavored stick candies.  David gets cherry cola and I get Pina Colada.   We get some looks from other board walkers.  But that’s OK.  We know we’re weird and we don’t mind.  Oh and for David’s sister Robin and his daughter Carrie, he says he’s going to get a haircut on Wednesday.  Will he actually do it?  Cross your fingers.





The park has three “manatee cams" along the boardwalk.  This is one of them and here’s the URL so if you want to see if there are any manatee hanging around you can any time you want.  I advise doing this in December and January and possibly early February but you can check now and hope. I do think sometimes they run tapes of things the cam has recorded previously.







Walking down the boardwalk, I spy what I’m pretty sure is a red bellied cooter trying to get some sun in the totally overcast skies.





red bellied slider



The spring really does look blue.  It’s just beautiful.  Currently the spring is closed to swimming and scuba divers because it is still “manatee season” but the park often opens it up by the 1st of March if there have been no manatee recently.  Wonder if I’ll get to go in and try out the 72 degree water?






In yet another effort to get a good photo of a kingfisher I try this one who has flown in and landed on the branch of a log at the edge of the spring.





While we are enjoying the spring David hears the tell tale “who-cooks-for-you” and goes in search of the barred owl.  He’s really well hidden and high up in the tree but David spots him.  Seems odd to hear him calling during the day.  Although it is late afternoon.  

I think it looks like he has a distinguished white moustache.  Sorry we couldn’t stop taking pictures of him.  Honestly I didn’t post them all.  We must have had 50.  His feathers were so beautiful.  He did some really funny things and was great fun to watch.









barred owl




I know some folks wanted to know how the Barkeepers Friend and Zep treatment worked.   Here’s the section he did to test it out.  Definitely shiny.  But David says we’ll have to wait 6 months to know how it holds up and weather “the black stuff” as it is professionally known around here, comes back.  Is it that super dooper shine that is making him squint or is it a grimace as he thinks about doing the whole rig?





I think this was the end of a very nice Monday and I’ll just take the pictures off of my camera and do some work on the blog I want to post tonight.   As some of you know, I have been having all kinds of electronic troubles.  I have a 3 year old phone, a 3 year old camera and a 4 year old laptop.  These do not seem old to me.  After all, I have a 10 year old coach and a 12 year old car.  But in the world of electronics things are old by the time you get them home.

The camera has taken some hard knocks and somewhere down the line the cable with which I   moved my pictures from camera to PC stopped working.  Testing proved it was not the laptop’s USB port or the cable itself but must be the cable connection in the camera.  SO now I have to take my camera card out of the battery compartment – remember the door is broken and being held on by a bungee cord, when it falls off the batteries fall out, all 4 AAs – which is a LOT of trouble these days and put the card into my computer.   Trouble but not too bad and it works.

Well not tonight.  Apparently the new/refurbished boards have changed something.   So after troubleshooting it as much as I can, I call Dell.  This turns into a 90 minute marathon as this tech support guy decides to try everything known to man before assigning someone to come out on Wednesday and replace the card reader.   So here is how I spent over two hours of my time including my dinner.  


First picture: Not too bad at this point.  He’s remotes my machine.  I’m watching and listening and taking notes. 

Second picture: 45 minutes later, I’m reading a book and holding the phone and getting disgusted.  

Third picture: 90 minutes later I’m trying to hold the phone and eat my dinner.  I’m thoroughly disgusted.

David saw the humor in all of this.  Perhaps you will too.








QUESTIONS: 10 ,11, 12 & 13

It did not get fixed tonight – another tech will visit on Wednesday. 
David puts my card in his machine and copies my pictures onto a USB stick and gives them to me and I put them on my machine in order to bring you this post. 
Was it worth all that?  
Is this a memory I really want to keep?? 
Does fixing one thing always break one or two more??? 
Wonder what will happen on Wednesday????


Can you answer any of my questions?  :-)


  1. Yes, I do.... I do.... and I have been wanting to know what the Doctors had to say about Davids numbers that we high.... I don't know if I just missed it or you haven't said. I sent an email and haven't heard back..... You don't have to leave this up as a comment..... but you asked!!

    1. You haven't missed it. Tomorrow's blog, I promise.

    2. Sorry to be a pest..... It's just out of concern!

  2. I am very curious person...so I do ask questions..but
    I think you have me beat...hope your tech problems work
    out for you...

    1. LOL "you have me beat", that's what everyone says! :-)

  3. You have more patience than I have. I woulda chucked it all and bought new..! It's amazing how the manatee make a fast exodus back into the river from the springs. When we were there, in shorts even, there were over 250 in the springs. Didn't feel that cold! Hope to see you guys soon!

    1. Even if my budget would allow a new laptop, I won't have Windows 8. I'm having nightmares trying to get Windows 7 to work with Windows Live 2012 especially Live writer and Live Mail. Not interested in trying to figure out how to make it all work with Windows 8. I'm hoping they will think better of the whole mess in Windows 9.

  4. Yep, I always ask lots of questions, but I'm really not a deep thinker. I don't question the universe or things like that. I'm pretty literal. One of the questions I was reluctant to ask was about David getting a haircut... ;)

  5. You got a good kingfisher shot, but the owl is my favorite.

    Waiting for the picture of Davids haircut....assuming you will be able to upload them.

  6. You know that Thomas Edison was thrown out of school because he asked too many questions!!! Be careful what you ask for...haha!

    Technology...love it when it work!! Hope you get all fixed soon.

    How weird was that tree falling right after you went through!

    That owl is way too cute. Love when it looks real low. It is trying to figure out what you are! Glad you included extra photos:)

  7. Ha! You two are so cute, I can't stand it! Love the owl pictures, and good luck with the laptop issues. Mine is almost 4 years old as well and I'm extremely adverse to changes. It IS acting rather wonky lately, so I'm losing hope.

  8. I have been known to ask lots of questions too ! How in the world do you gain some knowledge and/or experience without the questions ? Oh well, it is just part of the process .... And also brings about some understanding for me ... Some real important and some just toss away facts !!!
    Loved the owl ..... What a camera ham..... Mandy is all important standing guard !!!

  9. I Love the owl pictures! I would never go back to Microsoft or Windows, unless possibly they brought back Windows XP. Don't know why they dropped something that worked so well and was so easy to use. Questions? You probably ask way more than I do, but if I'm curious about something I'll ask if possible, but not so much if it's a trivial thing.

  10. Great pictures - particularly the owl - what fun to watch! I am going to make certain that I head out for Blue Springs sometime over the summer after having read your adventure thus far. The two of you look great - the photo of the two of you with the candy sticks got me to chuckling and I think David did an excellent job of catching you at your best while dealing with the long phone call - great shots!!

  11. I have always been big on asking lots of questions. In no small part that was an important part of my work for over thirty years:)

  12. How does one broaden one's knowledge if one does not ask questions? Solitary investigation goes only so far. Early on in life, my mother nicknamed me "Nosebucket". Need I say more? ;->

    Virtual hugs,


  13. That owl is too cute! We would have taken dozens of pictures,too.

  14. I think you've answered the question: "If a tree falls in the woods, does it make a sound?"
    Answer: Yes (as long a David is around to hear it).

    Hope your ear didn't get too flat. Nice that Dell has English speaking techs, too bad more companies can't follow their lead!

    I'd love to see 361 manatees, or even 270. Now with the VA thing over with, maybe I won't have to wait to long. :c)

    1. I have a question for Paul;o)) Did I miss a post about the VA thing being over with?? Sure hope so and with a good outcome!! Would like to see you two hitting the road:o))

    2. Guess I'd better clarify. If you get the "standard support" from Dell it's just like every other place, India or Phillipines. You have to have their top of the line support and pay for it to get English speakers every time and never have to wait on line more than 5 minutes for a tech to answer the call. I buy from Dell refurbished and get a 3 year warranty and sometimes extend it. Been doing it for years. BUT if microsoft doesn't change their ways I may go Apple even though it is much more costly initially.

    3. We love our Macs ... but you'll have to say goodbye to Live Writer unless you partition the hard drive and install windows to run it.

  15. I need to ask questions in order to learn more. Live the owl photos. Your dinner looks yummy.

  16. If you don't ask, you don't learn. Great pics of the Owl.

  17. This should answer your question about me......

    Conversation just before yesterday's visit with Bill's Radiation Oncologist.

    Bill: We have to make this quick. I have a concert tonight. Will you PLEASE not ask so many questions?
    Sharon: Sure darling (smirk), whatever you want.

    But of course, I asked all my questions.
    Loved the owl pics.

    1. Too funny. My Bill is the same way. When the doctor asks him "Do you have any questions?" he says "That's why I bring her!"

  18. Yes, you do ask a lot of questions, but that's what makes you who you are;o)) I find the older I get the more selective my questioning becomes as my memory bank is about full and I am not sure how to add more gigs;o)) So why ask if I can't remember the answer!!!

  19. glad the tree didnt hit you. Great pictures of the owl.I can sympathize with you about the electronics. Have had many instances of similar frustrations. And the answer to your question about is it worth it? Is yes.

  20. Wonderful Owl pic's and happy you were not under the tree when it fell. When I was a kid a wise old man told me " Life is all about timing " I thought he had a loose screw, but now I know " Life is all about timing ".

  21. Love the owl pictures, if you don't ask how are you to learn anything so keep asking.

  22. That picture of you and Dave is just the cutest ever. I loved the owl pictures too. I'm looking forward to seeing Dave's haircut. Hope I still recognize him. Hope you get up to the Pacific Northwest this summer.

  23. The owl is a questioner too! And the answer...? Sometimes David!! :) Great picture of Dad at the gift shop - he looks like he was caught in the act of being too much of a shopper for Mama's taste - lol! That is one big stuffed turtle - I like the pictures of the real ones you took too. Excellent selfie - I think Dad's getting to be a pro. That's great they have a manatee cam. The website says that yesterday they spotted 9! How annoying are computer problems?! That's an easy answer! Glad Dad was able to assist with the picture transfer so we could see all the lovely pictures here.

  24. You have heard of executioners, but are there Questionutioners? Sometimes I feel I may be questioned to death, but that's okay. I know how your mind works and although it is sometimes stressful to be questioned about things guys should know, it is a very good thing. You always find the flaws in my logic and the risks in my trusting and believing things I want to be true (gullibility?). In answer to Q9, that is a look of wonder - like wonder how can I get out of doing the whole rig again? And Q12, No, but it could be instructional as in don't want to replay this one again. To Q13, yes, fixing one thing always opens the way for another thing to break.

  25. Oh my, and I thought I asked a lot of questions….ha! You are clearly the Queen of Questions! Thank goodness that tree didn't fall on you…how scary! Loved your owl photos. We're hearing barred owls every night here at Twin Lakes Fish Camp (one mile from Marjorie Rawlings home -- you would love this place).


Your comments are the best part of this blog for me.
I LOVE hearing from you!