Blue Springs Florida Getaway

Blue Springs Florida Getaway

Blue Springs State Park in Florida is the “winter home to the manatee”.  During the summer months you can catch a manatee hanging out there, but during the winter, the spring run is filled up with manatees enjoying the consistent temperature of the spring water.

If you are thinking about visiting:

They have cabins and campgrounds available. There are 6 cabins surrounded by woods.  Each (as far as I know) has a front porch, 2 bedrooms, one bathroom, kitchen, dining table, family room, air conditioning, and a gas fireplace that is shut off in summer months.  Outside each is a grill, table, and fire pit. There is a camp store on property that has small items you may have forgotten/need and a sandwich shop.  Right next to the camp store is a souvenir shop and a place to rent tubes for the spring. The Blue Spring Park has picnic tables scattered in several areas and a large covered pavilion.  There is a wood/sidewalk boardwalk along the length of the spring run with look out areas scattered throughout. There are hand rails on the hill portions at a height that appears designed to assist wheelchair users.  There are 2 main areas with access to the swim area and are spaced so that you can put in at one spot and relax to let the current take you to the second access point if you wish.  I did not notice a way for a wheelchair to access the swim out areas but I also did not ask the park staff about options, so please contact the park to inquire if you are planning a visit. (link to park website)  Everyone I spoke at Blue Springs was really nice and more than helpful.

Blue Springs empties into the St. John’s River and there are kayak, canoe and boat tours available from inside the park.  I have been on a couple of boat tours (from outside tour companies) over the years, and it really is a wonderful way to see the area.  The tours last around 2 hours and your are almost 100% sure to see birds, turtles, gators, and plenty of various foliage.

I posted a camera about 20 feet outside a cabin and caught some good images.

During my visit, the swim area was closed for all but the last morning due to a gator hanging out in the safety zone.  I saw the trappers looking for him the first night I was there but they did not catch up to him until the second night.  A local resident, that has been swimming there every day for years, told the story of how an old time gator had killed a friend a couple years ago.  The gator had been around back when it was common for people to feed gators.  The theory was that after the victim, and a couple of others, swam past him and did not feed him, that the gator got mad and went after them.

I heard this story right after I had just enjoyed a quick dip in the spring.  I was the only one around when the rangers had opened the swim area and could not resist.  The current is a little more noticeable in this spring compared to others that I have been to, so I am sure the tubing is popular.

The sunrise photos were taken from the east coast of Florida that looks to have escaped a direct hit by the hurricane.  Blue Springs State Park was closing early the day I left due to Hurricane Dorian.

(Warning Spiders 🙂

Monarch

Monarch

My latest art project has been completed!!

It started with an acrylic pour technique to establish the backdrop for the main character.  The layers built from there using combinations of different mediums. A bit of digital adjusting thrown in at the end to add the finishing touch.

There is a silent army of backyard monarch enthusiasts.  They create optimal conditions for monarchs and watch as hundred of monarchs fly away each year. A milkweed buffet is prepared and maintained. Watch is kept to deter predators, like wasps, from over harvesting.

Some general information about monarch butterflies

Thanks for stopping by!

Monarch3bjpg

 

Mother’s day gift chosen by recipient 🙂

https://www.zazzle.com/z/lbumg

https://www.zazzle.com/store/active_art

 

Vacation Slide show! With a side of Bug Bite Prevention.

Spent some time at a cabin surrounded by the Ocala National Forest. Ahhhhh.

Bug bite prevention ideas below.

Click a photo to start a show.

GRHP-12

 

GRHPD1-31-2

I spent a lot of time outside during the day and at night.  I have 3 mosquito bites and no found ticks.  The bites may have come from the first day I was there when the car was stuck in a mud hole and I was caught out without any protection.  That’s a story for the next post.

First, spray shirts, shorts, hats, socks, and shoes, to be worn in the woods with Permethrin. Take clothes outside and spray.  Let dry prior to packing.

Product Details

Second, ideas for while you are out:

Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct DetailsProduct DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details

If you get bit:

Ticks

Product Details

Mosquitos

Product Details

 

 

Treadmill Lake

I was determined to get out on my paddleboard yesterday.  Weatherman said there is rain coming, but not until later that day.  He also said that there was some wind, but not too bad. That is what I heard anyway.  Thus began…

The Fear Factor Workout

Lil’ Red and I started our way out of the protected launch area.

Safe Harbor

As we made our way across the lake the wind was blowing left to right.  I can handle this.  It was blowing me towards the bank so I could not rest without risking being driven into grassy shores.  I can handle this. Continue reading

Beware The Duck

Ever wonder if there are gangs of ducks roaming the streets at night?

Shady characters in the parking lot.

Shady characters in the parking lot.

Maybe you should.

I celebrated my one year blogging anniversary by taking the week off.  To avoid withdrawal symptoms, I tried to keep myself busy…

I made some pantry cleaning, chicken stew.

Chicken stew

Continue reading

Build Your Own Biathlon

By Land and By Sea

A friend had told me about an environmental awareness event at a state park this weekend so I decided it would be a great chance to use one of the great parks. To make the most of attending the event, I decided to go stand up paddleboarding in the park’s spring. After a little SUPing, I went for a hike on one of the trails.

As I came off the trail, the speeches were beginning. A lovely day, a great workout, and I was asleep early last night.

New SUP Lake

I explored a new lake last weekend.  It is not as popular with the local stand up paddleboarders as my usual spots, but some do go out there.  As the first speed boat passed by, I realized why I was the only paddler there that day.  There are very few wake free zones.  There were only a few boats out that day, and it is a big lake, so it was not a problem.  There was no launch fee, so, I will go back.

Have you explored anywhere new lately?