Farmers in Florida

We get off the farm so rarely together that I thought I’d share a few photos. When we spent the holidays in Florida with my sister and brother-in-law, we didn’t do Disney World or Epcot or any man-made places. We pretty much stuck to nature, which I guess isn’t surprising. 

We went sailing one afternoon with Sandy and Rick. Here’s the Head Farmer at the bow of the boat, watching to make sure we don’t hit any crab pots.

Here’s the Backup Farmer actually driving the boat (oops, I mean piloting!):

Here’s my sister and her hubby:

Their neighborhood was all decorated for the holidays. The big thing in this area are inflatables—Santas, snowmen, nativity scenes, elves, etc. They are inflated on timers. During the day they’re allowed to collapse. In the evening they all rise up like ghouls and take shape. Here’s a deflated one. Cracked me up. During the day the whole neighborhood was littered with deflated beings:

The coolest part of our trip was visiting Blue Springs State Park, a manatee refuge. It’s a 1/3-mile long spring-fed creek that feeds into the St. Johns River. Because the water is warm, the manatees come here to survive the winters (they can’t take water much colder than 65 degrees or so.) They rest and warm up in the spring, but must venture out into the St. Johns every day to find food.

We saw turtles…



And of course, manatees. Here’s one coming up for air:

It was such a lovely place. Those gray shapes are manatees hanging around the bank of the creek. 

The heated water is incredibly clear, since it’s coming from a gash in the earth. The gash itself is only about thirty feet by ten feet.

But get this. The crack descends130 ft into the earth, and is riddled with caves. 

Apparently people actually strap on tanks and descend into this gash in the earth.

Suddenly farming doesn’t sound so crazy.

8 thoughts on “Farmers in Florida

  1. I’m envious! I’ve only been to Florida twice but this Kansas girl is in love with the state. The little crack with all the caves fascinates but I know I could never go down into it! Terrifying! Thanks for sharing your trip with us!

  2. My parents live in FL and I spent my teenage-hood there. Beautiful and full of weird animals. Wonderful nature. Makes me wonder why the heck I left. Oh. Wait. The humidity will frizz your hair 10 out of 10 times. Righto! But I still love it.

    Sounds like you had a great trip. And yes, there are crazier things to do than farm!

  3. My SIL is a State Park Ranger in Fl. We have some of the best times at the parks she has worked for. Nothing like an amazing park after hours.
    Her first 2 parks were ‘Spring Parks’ Enjoy visiting FL, but love returning to the farm.

  4. macbew—you must have special powers to read an alligator smile!

    And Heidi—how wonderful you have a built-in park guide in your family. FL is fun to visit, but we’re not tempted to move down there…

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