Wednesday, June 24, 2009

do manatee wear hats?

I hope they do because Bee's favorite ball cap fell off at the bay today and fell right into the water. We were on the pier, too high to get it. It sank to the bottom before anybody could think of a way to reach it. The manatee were right next to it so we all joked that the manatee would be wearing it now. Daddy is taking her to the hat store tonight to order a new one. Oh, the crying!

(mama or papa)

It is not manatee season at all, but this little mama, papa, and baby have stuck around this year. We have been told that the natural underwater springs cool the water in the shallow (comparatively speaking) bay. Springs here are 72-74 degrees- ideal for manatee. When the summer heat warms the rest of the bay and gulf, most of the manatee move north for cooler water. They return in the winter when our water is the perfect temperature and the northern water is too cold. They eat seaweed from the bottom and breathe air from the top, so they stay in shallow water area. They also really like to drink freshwater, which the springs are. Our area of the bay is pretty brackish, a mix of salt and fresh water. Friends of our say that if you take jugs of fresh water out in your boat and slowly pour it into the bay, the mantee will come right up and drink your water. That's not legal at all, but now you know. There's your science lesson for the day (and a little criminal justice lesson).

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