Blue Spring State Park

Today we visited Blue Spring State Park just outside of Orange City, FL, which is neither a city nor filled with oranges but is located in Florida.

This park is known for being a popular destination of large, swimming, mammals that enjoy warm water.  No, not people (necessarily!)…manatees!  Of course, people often fit that description too I suppose but let’s not go there.

This park is also known for being the largest spring along the St. Johns River.  The park brochure stated that the spring exudes about 104 million gallons of water every day.  In doing a little reading on Wikipedia regarding the River, that site cites a source claiming something over 64 million gallons a day.  Either way, they both agree that Blue Spring provides the most water of any spring along the river.
Finally, the park is also notable because it was the location of my first-ever job.  I was a summer, seasonal worker called an O.P.S. the summer between my junior and senior years of high school.  That would have been 1984.  It was a glamorous position.  I mowed a lot of grass, picked up a lot of trash, cleaned a lot of bathrooms, and lost a lot of sweat.  I was paid all of $3.35 an hour for the 40 hour work weeks.
With manatees in the immediate area of the river, swimming, snorkeling, and diving is now closed for the winter.  It was hot enough to really want to take a dip but we were contented with nature watching.  We didn’t view any manatees (they were out in the river during the warmth of the day) nor alligators, but we did see a lot of fish, some birds, and no large, swimming mammals that didn’t belong in the water which is always a good thing.

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