Haulover Canal in Dec. '15 -

Y'all, I'm so thankful I took the whole month of December off of work, because I really needed it. 

It was so great having the freedom to do nothing!, see friends!, and especially - "do nothing"in the outdoors, 
which usually means hanging out at my favorite Winter place at the wildlife refuge: 
Haulover Canal. 

I love this place so much

On December 15th, I just hung out there for several hours. 
No joke, this is one of my favorite things to do in Florida. 
Taking the time to get back to my first love - Nature Photography, 
and absorbing the stillness, the sounds, the breeze, the joy of being so close to animals that didn't care at all. 
It was tremendously good for me, and I needed it so much!

This day, I think I clocked in on the nature scale at about:
2 dolphins, 15 manatees, a billion (probably like 35) pelicans, 3 ospreys, 2 Red tailed hawks, 2 Great White Egrets, 
I lost count of how many Anhingas, 2 Horseshoe crabs (which I hate. childhood trauma)....and some dead fish. Haha. Such is the Florida life. 

The pelicans were cracking me up so much. 
They wouldn't even bother to take off "flying", they'd just "hop sideways" 
and splash down in the water. I was laughing so hard at their undignified & lazy fishing. 

To be SO CLOSE to animals as large and gentle as manatees is probably a joy I'll never get over. 
I get as giddy as a 5year old, every single time. Something new I discovered. 
There may be another reason they are called "sea cows" and that is:
 their breath smells EXACTLY the same as cows. Haha. 

It's a warm, burst of fragrantly comforting grass breath. It was like being in a barn. :) 

Wanna know how I know? I was less than 2 feet away from this manatee, 
and before you get freaked out....I was in no way too close or disturbing it. 
It happily chomped away on the sea grass as I sat motionless in the mangroves.
 I tell you, living in Florida is one wild adventure and I love it. 

I seriously cannot take how cute that nose is though. Help. 

If you look to the far right on this picture, just underneath the sea grass? 
There's a manatee looking back at you. ;)

That mustache. hahaha. 


*chomp chomp chomp*


"You can't see me. I am hidden. I am a spy....."

"I am the DEEP."

Go away, horseshoe crabs. I'm not a fan. 

This actually is NOT a manatee. It's a log. That looks like a manatee. ;) haha. 

It was such a great day, and I can't wait to go out again! If you ever visit me, I'll take you there. ;) 

With love,
~ Jean Marie ~