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

Henry David Thoreau

♪♫SATURDAY IN THE PARK – I’m glad it’s not the 4th of July♪♫

Saturday March 22, 2014
Manatee Springs State Park
Chiefland, Florida




The crowds are out by 8am seemingly minutes after the park opens to the public.



On my way back from my morning walk the large picnic pavilion is already full.

Scuba lessons are going on in catfish hotel. Remember Catfish Hotel,  from yesterday’s sink hole blog, is connected to the main spring by the under ground cave tunnels.








Catfish Hotel’s resident gator is out and waiting for the sun.


He apparently knows the high for today is predicted to be 80, maybe a little more. Everybody is out early today. A couple of people are already swimming in the springs and the temperature wasn’t even 70 yet. Now those are hardy folks.










David and I wait until it warms up to go over for a dip in the spring. By that time there are snorkelers, swimmers, rafts, boats. More people than I would normally like but hey it’s 80 degrees. It’s now or never for a swim. Although we reluctantly decide to forego the snorkeling given the crowd.











Time for a dip in that gorgeous water.



The steps down into the water are covered with the timid trying to get up the nerve to get in the 72 degree spring water. I stand for a while waiting to see if they are going to move and when it is apparent they are just going to “eek” and shriek about how cold it is, I say excuse me and dive in. Now that I think about it, I must have gotten them wet. Oh well! I can’t tip toe in, I just get it over with, springs or ocean.








The water is wonderful. The sun feels terrific.

Those of you who have followed me in Florida for a while know that I love to just get in the springs, lay back and float. It’s like being on a water bed. I could do it for hours. David takes some pictures of me before he gets in but he gets back out before I do so I have no pictures of him in the water. But I swear he was in for a bit.











Some of the pictures he takes  of me makes it look like I’m just about the only person in the spring. Not so, but I was up at the high end and most folks had been slowly pushed down the spring run by the spring waters. 






There are several little brown water snakes sunning in the bushes along the edge of the spring. Snake picture alert for those who don’t care for them. They are paying us no attention and people seem to be fine with the idea that they are there.





To finish off the afternoon we walk down the boardwalk to the river for possibly the last time.





The water level is higher than it has been at any time since we’ve been here. The No Swimming sign at the canoe launch is nearly completely under water, the height gauge reads 5” more.

We go out on the dock and say good bye to the cormorant who is pretty much always sitting on the buoy just beyond the end of the dock. I suppose he must do some fishing or perhaps there are a number of them who take turns. But every time I’ve been there, one of them has been on that buoy.









The Manatee Springs swollen spring run.










It is so wonderful having the time to get totally distracted by a butterfly.






Just before heading home we spend quite a bit of time watching this Spicebush Swallowtail flit and land on the edge of the swollen spring run.  I admit to being one of those who sometimes posts more than one shot of something I really liked.  I know Rick disapproves of that and of too many pictures.  Others probably others do too. (Pretty sure he quit reading). Luckily there are lots of blog readers and writers so there is something for everyone.











Neighbors are interesting too.

As we walk through the campground loops, we find we have new neighbors with interesting camping set ups and nice music.



Home Sweet Home?





Tomorrow is our last day at Manatee Springs and we have a lot of chores to do before we can leave for St. George State Park in Eastpoint. Rain is predicted for Monday when we leave on the 180 mile drive – a long one for us - so I want to get an early start to try and out run the rain. I hate driving in or setting up in the rain. So we think we’ll get everything packed up tomorrow and take Winnona out for a propane and gasoline fuel up, maybe even dump the tanks. Wish us luck. See you in St. George.



  1. Each of us has our own preferences in the blogs we read. I must admit that sometimes I zip through some of your pictures and occasionally some text. It all depends on how much time I have. ;) Everyone blogs they way they want to. I wouldn't worry about it.

  2. Your neighbors have the perfect "cabin tent". I agree with Judy in that it's your blog and you should write it to please yourself.

  3. we all know from experience that you can't please all the folks all the time! You blog is for YOU, and keep it that way. People will read what they will, will form their own opinions, and blog styles vary as much as the people who write them. As you said to me, "it's your blog!"

  4. My blog has usually one picture and one paragraph of text. Sometimes I am wordier, and sometimes there might be TWO pictures. But, as everyone will likely agree, that's what blogs are all about - to each his own! ;->

    Virtual hugs,


  5. I love your blog the way it is. Phooey on those who pass judgement. hehehe...

  6. Oh dear, I thought I'd just made an off hand comment but I've created a referendum. I surely didn't mean to. Can I take it all back?? I think it's time for another dip in the spring! :-)

  7. My comment disappeared. I'll try again.

    I love all your photos and text. I put in lots of photos and sometimes lots of text too. We want it that way so we can re-read and remember what we were doing, what we saw and what we were thinking when we did it.

    Keep up the great blogs!

  8. Everyone else already said it ... so I won't repeat it.

  9. As always, loved your dips in the spring, Sherry. However, I worried about the alligator. Doesn't anyone worry about swimming with the alligators?

    I learn a lot from all the blogs I read, and i enjoy them all. Love the pictures and the text. What makes them interesting as a whole is the uniqueness of each. What a bore if all of them were alike. I don't think Rick was being critical of anyone, I think he was just expressing his opinion about his preferences.

    We rented a house years ago on St. George Island and the whole family was there and together for a week. What fun! Hope you have a great time and that it doesn't rain.

    1. Alligators rarely bother humans unless humans bother them first.

  10. It is amazing how you float, I just sink. I do really wish I had learned to swim as a kid, there are so many things I have missed out on. Great butterfly pics, I know they can be hard to get sometimes.

  11. Nice pictures of the springs. Saturday was a springs day for sure!

  12. I enjoy the photos! I know it takes a long time to pick them and post so I appreciate them all ;) Pretty Spring...love the water color and floating looks extremely relaxing even with so many people out there! Great tent house - ha! And, beautiful butterfly - does he know how pretty he is? I suppose not.

  13. Love the pictures of the butterfly. They are sometimes so hard to get a shot of, they never sit still! Hope St George is just as beautiful as Manatee :)

  14. It's the reader's responsibility to pick the blogs that work for them. Right now, I'm traveling vicariously through the writing of others, so every picture and word is important. I appreciate the time and effort put into choosing and writing something that means so much to me. Thanks you and don't change anything. We have friends who just left St. George (rented a hours there for spring break) and had a lovely week. Hope your time is perfect and all the spring breakers have gone home!!

  15. Floating in the spring looks absolutely lovely. We didn't get any "spring swimming" time this winter, given that the weather was so cold. But we certainly have enjoyed all of our kayaking time! We're going to miss the gorgeous Florida springs and rivers as we head west next month.

  16. Weekenders, alligators, snakes, rising rivers.......and the ability to float peacefully amidst it all and enjoy the gift of being there. Go you! I will miss the daily walks to the springs but look forward to new adventures down the road.

  17. Would love to try floating in a spring, one of these days, and yes glad it wasn't the 4th of July when all the crazy ones are there. Everyone has already said it, do the blog the way you want, we all have the choice of reading the ones we want to.

  18. You can never have too many pictures!

  19. BEAUTiful water… well, I'm an esker and shrieker… hahaaa… people like you!!! hiss

    You look soooooo relaxed floating like that… I love to float also but I just can't get comfortable in lakes or rivers or … haven't tried a spring. I'm always afraid a something or other is going to grab me and take me down to its wherever and eat me piece by piece…

    You see that movie … Creature from the Black Lagoon? ooo

    Listen… butterflies are what kept me from getting all A's in school… they distract the hell outta me… wanna go with 'em.

    I'm wishing you luck…. got my big toe and next to it long ol toe .. crossed.. ;)

  20. I'm in the "you can't put too many pictures in a blog" camp. I LOVE all the terrific photos you share with us. I'd put more pictures in my blog, but I'm afraid my readers would get tired of seeing so many shots with my thumb in them...

    Lovely place to soak away the cares of the day. A spring in the Spring! :c)

  21. I appreciate and read every word and look at every pic...I also am
    traveling vicariously thru the blogs I read...
    thanks for taking the time to blog

  22. what a wonderful fabulous day you had. . .I love butterflies too!

  23. Unfortunately I'm too wimpy to go in water much under bathtub temp :-( But floating in the spring does look serene. Are there any warmer springs? I also wonder about all the aligators. I guess I do not know enough about them. I thought they would think of humans as prey? I guess I have a lot to learn before I make it out to Florida!


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