The Florida State Park Service sent out a message that there were 60 manatees in Blue Springs State Park on a beautiful day.  That meant a trip to the park to see them.


Old Florida, a look at the crystal clear waters of the St. John’s River.
Visitors walk along the newly constructed dock for an up close look at the manatees and wildlife.
Looking downstream towards the Blue Springs.
Alligators don’t really care if dinner is a fish or your leg!
A view from above at the walkway.
The water is so clear, it looks shallow but isn’t. It’s actually several feet deep. Several manatees are gathered in a sunny portion of the river.
Interpretive signs explain the geographic features of Blue Springs Park.
The Florida Park Service has their own sign printing shop!
Good advice in the park, and for life in general.
Camping, fishing, hiking and boat tours are available at Blue Springs State Park.
Florida Gar fish are visible at the bottom of the picture in the shallow waters of the St. John’s River at Blue Springs Park.
The angle of the afternoon sun causes the crystal clear waters to appear green.
No Fishing! At least not at this location.
Identifying the local fish and those who are are invasive species.
A rustic walk along the St. John’s River at Blue Springs Park.
On the lookout for dinner or a late afternoon snack!
Long before early Florida settlers arrived, the Timucua Nation carved out canoes from tall pine trees and fished what we now know as the St. John’s River at Blue Springs.
Palm fronds line the shoreline as a gentle breeze sends fallen leaves down the river.
Looking down from the dock, a sea cow huddles underneath waiting for a snack. You can see his shadow in the top center of the picture. They LOVE heads of lettuce, but don’t feed them!
Some but not all carry a floating “Manatee Tag” to help prevent injury from boat propellers.
See the springs from up close in a canoe. Water temperature is a constant 72 degrees and attracts the manatees during the cooler winter months.
Markers to keep boats away from the springs and these gentle giants.
Blue Springs. The deep water springs sends millions of gallons of fresh water northward up the St. John’s River.
More signs. The picture of a hungry alligator should suffice!
Besides the boundary buoys, the Park Rangers are watching too!
This soon-to-be-Mama fish is building a nesting are for her babies.###

About the show:  Food And Travel Nation with Elizabeth Dougherty is the fusion of food and travel. This fresh, compelling nationally-syndicated weekend program includes information for homesteading, traveling, gardening, taste tests, and in a twist, listeners hear what restaurant servers say about customers.

  • Each week our listeners get the very latest food and travel information
  • We produce homemade videos of healthy, easy to make recipes
  • We feature no-holds barred interviews in a LIVE, fast-paced, nationwide call-in show.
  • Elizabeth Dougherty is a writer, trained chef, world traveler and now an award-winning talk show host.
  • Food Nation Radio was on the forefront of presenting expert guests with vital information about GMOs, at a time when no one was talking about or even knew about the subject.
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Executive Producer – Michael Serio



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About Elizabeth Dougherty

Elizabeth Dougherty has been cooking and writing about food intensively for more than ten years. She is the fourth generation of chefs and gourmet grocers in her family with her mother, Francesca Esposito and grandmother, Carmella being major influences in her early cooking years. As a teenager, her family sent her to Europe where she became focused on French and Italian cuisine. She survived a year and half of culinary tutelage under a maniacal Swiss-German chef and is a graduate of NYIT, Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality, Business and Labor Relations. Food Nation Radio has won two news awards for content. Broadcasting LIVE each week, nationwide, on and on stations around the country.

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