Blue Springs State Park, located on the St. Johns river near Deland, Fl has always been a favorite of mine. Having made several visits over the years I had never seen as many manatees as I saw on this late December day. I believe the manatee count during this chilly morning was 235. During the winter months when the water of the St. Johns river become cold, the manatees migrate to the Blue Springs which has a constant temperature of 73 degrees.
A manatee searches for vegetation along the bank.
Shooting manatees from above water can be quite challenging. For these images I used a Canon 70-200 lens and circular polarizer. The polarizer eliminates most reflections from the water allowing you to see the manatee more clearly in the image. The water also needs to be fairly calm as the ripples tend to distort the image.
A family of manatees swim in the warm water of the refugee.