Last updated November 17, 2019

Manatees, alligators and other homely things...

A feature packed State Park and a close encounter with a mermaid

Some snapshots of various attractions of the park plus views from the now almost non-existent city of Bayport on the Gulf of Mexico. If you're ever in the Homosassa area, do give this park a look - it is very friendly, well run and provides good value for money. You can also buy ice cream there

A young manatee in the river

The spring in the park is a constant 72F and, with the recent cold snap, the non-resident manatees loiter around for warmth

Off to breakfast...

Again, notice the scars on the back of the one on the right - presumably from a boat encounter

My favorite manatee

Clever photograhy, eh?

White tailed deer

These guys were on lunch break when we went by. There was also an exhibit of northern deer but these were entirely AWOL

Lucifer

Marian really identified with this guy

The morning after?

From their appearance, the hippo and the alligators must have had a heck of a party the night before

The village idiot

Wasn't this one in the Peter Pan movie?

Tree snake

Just hope he never drops in for lunch

Two for the price of one

These friendly little fellows would also be good to avoid

Bored bear

Probably just waiting for retirement, this guy seemed pretty much out of it. The scavenger birds help keep his den tidy

Waiting for Miss Right

These birds were hanging out all over but, really, only a mother could love them

Grumpy egret

I swear I met this guys brother at the ice cream social - ready to complain about everything

One of natures jokes?

There were several versions of this hapless soul. None of it's parts fitted very well - perhaps it is related to the boneless chicken

My, he's a cutie!

Caught in an awkward moment this pelican quickly composed himself

This is his good side

Showing the unusual feather texture and the colorful neck plumage

The girls are off to the beach

Notice ugly bird lustfully looking on. Does this remind you of a trip to Wal-mart or what?

At the beach

Cute? What a disorderly bunch - the plastic ones from Lowes look much more realistic

Interloper

Up in the trees, on the lookout for a feeding opportunity, this trespassing homeess hawk was keeping a close eye on things

Mr. Excitement

The lone bobcat was happily sunning himself and wondering how he got so lucky

Birds of prey

These hawks, with their forward facing eyes, seem ever ready to swoop

The Bald Eagle

One of the "comeback kids", the Bald Eagle is now well off the endangered species list and, in some areas, is almost up to nuisance levels

Owls a-plenty

Rarely seen during daylight and difficult to see even when found, the park has great specimens of several owls

Contentment...

Insomniac owl

This fella seemed to enjoy the passing parade

Horned owl

I think it's really a cat in a suit

Screech owl

Sandhill crane

These are scary big birds

Gray fox

Another rarely seen member of Florida fauna. Marian became quite flustered thinking "New winter coat..."

Red fox

The most common of the fox family, you don't see these every day either

Bayport, Florida

At the extreme west end of Hwy 50, 99 miles from Orlando, is Bayport and the Gulf of Mexico

Brian, a seagull

Brian uses kleptoparasitism to augment his diet. RVers seem to share similar traits

Here is Brian strutting his stuff

He also likes to frighten the other gulls

A wannabee gull

This little chap so wanted to help clean up the popcorn but the gulls just wanted to peck his eyes out

 

And the mermaids?

It turns out that the grandly named Weeki Wachee has a population of 12 people with just five households and its sole claim to fame is the fast failing Mermaid show. They have 12 tawdry mermaids and two princes (mermen??) who swim around in an aquarium performing unspeakable feats. The enterprise is currently locked in battle with an environmental agency and may become just a memory in the not too distant future. I don't even know that they are real mermaids!

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