Mangroves are the keystone species of the inter-coastal environment because their tangled forests form thick and intertwining roots that anchor islands and aquatic grass beds to the earth, preventing erosion and doubling as nurseries for hundreds of species! Some of these species include the vulnerable Manatee as well as an estimated 75% of the game fish and 90% of the commercial fish species found in South Florida. These increasingly rare forests also filter the water that flows between their roots, creating purified regions within the bay for young rays, sharks, and fish species to learn and grow safely. Mangroves are one of the most highly valued ecological habitats, but it also faces challenges in the form of water pollution and overdevelopment. With coastline property being a highly prized commodity, and with 90% of Florida’s Mangroves found in southern Florida, there's been a stiff decline in these forests over the last three decades to make room for expanding populations. Without these shelters, Manatee mothers in Biscayne Bay would have a harder time finding food to sustain an ever-growing calf, and the multi-billion-dollar fishing industry would decline steadily, and all for a bit of oceanfront property. Protect what you love, friends! DM me for details on the original artwork if you’re interested! Prints now available in my gallery! 😘
1,5484219 January, 2020
Boop twice on the nose for good luck in the new year! 👆👆 Tag a friend in the comments to spread the good fortune! And the cuteness. 😍
* RAINBOW MONARCHS AND MANATEES CANVAS PRINTS NOW AVAILABLE *
I am taking pre-orders for canvas prints of my newest piece THIS WEEK ONLY! A colorful way to bring a bit of the Florida springs into your home! 18x24" quality wrapped canvas prints are $100 each, ($117 total with shipping and sales tax). Each print is made to order and signed on the back. I will be getting these printed at the end of the week so I will need all pre-orders in by Friday. Your print will arrive to you in the next 2-3 weeks or less. If you would like a different sized canvas (smaller or larger) I can get it printed special for you, just shoot me a DM for pricing :) 8x10" and 4x6" paper prints framed are also available as well and I already have these on hand. They will soon be listed on my Etsy Shop: etsy.com/shop/sammwehmanart <3
This original piece is for sale as well and is 30x36" on very thick hand-stretched gallery wrapped canvas. Message me with any questions! :)
Today’s picture is for those of you who find stress relief and calm from looking at pictures of kittens and puppies! Enjoy a peak at this manatee family! .
This is a picture from my own self-care activity today which included
•time with family
•my first manatee encounter
•and time near crystal clear water which is my favorite thing of all!
6151 minutes ago
I work a lot, but sometimes I take a break. Working on both internal and external balance in my life, as well as trying new things. This was two weeks ago, but a worth the late share.
Paddle 2 the people! This annual event is about bringing paddlers together. There will be daily activities planned with casual paddling, as well as certification courses offered.
We had a blast last year and can’t wait to go again. Chaz will be teaching a build your own paddle workshop, and Theresa will be getting her SUP Yoga certification! .
The park has hiking trails, a stream to paddle (with rentals available) and a large spring-fed natural swimming pool.
This year we've been doing a lot more #homeschooling events in nature!! I love homeschooling my boys because we aren't glued to a TV all day, we learn in nature, through #nature . They're interacting with every age group. We explore new things. They sleep better. Are much happier. Which means I'm much happier!! It has not just grounded me but has helped me realize how crazy life is and how hard it is to take accountability for your own actions and roles in different situations and relationships in life. We live in a fast pace world...Let's slow down life and enjoy every moment! #peacelove
Spent a long weekend with my sisters in Florida swimming with these curiously amazing creatures! I was thinking during my ride this morning that it’s crazy to think that I started off the new year in Florida swimming with manatees, and I’ll end the year in Florida doing my third IRONMAN. Life is crazy. I need to remind myself to be more grateful because I’m living a great life full of countless of blessings.
So glad that @vkocfl reposted this because it’s pretty much exactly the magic that @emilybethc and I experienced the other day but couldn’t ::quite:: capture 🤣 one of the greatest things I’ve ever done. Ever. Sorry in advance but it’s all I’ll be talking about for the foreseeable future 😆😆😆 Posted @withrepost • @vkocfl Tis the season for #Manatees 💚 Come catch the best Manatee viewing in the #305 ! Only at VKOC 😉😉 —
1118 hours ago
I was trying to photograph the mother and baby but then this goober decided to photo bomb 😆He was on the bottom completely out of view few seconds ago
Brrr! Even Florida can get cold!
For my friends who can’t put on a hoodie and stay indoors it is crucial that they go into the warmer waters of the #springs to stay warm! Please be respectful of any #manatees you might find in the #florida springs- they need to be there!
I will be staying in and watching the birds at the feeder today!
So, this weekend we went kayaking with manatees!!! Except we saw no manatees.. But, there had been a reporting of a bull shark in the waters...cept we didnt see him...BUT we're sure, 110%, there were gators in the water...we just didn't see them either... Overall, we had an amazing day with the crew vowing afterwards to buy their own kayaks and to start a weekend club moving forward. Overall, I'm calling it a win! I frickin loved it anyway!! I'll catch you next time lil shy manatee friends ♥️
A true Florida gem: Manatees have a low reproductive rate. The age of sexual maturity for females and males is about five years. On average, one calf is born every two to five years and twins are rare. Gestation periods are about one year. The males assume no responsibility for raising calves and mothers nurse their young for 1-2 years. The calves nurse underwater from teats located behind the mothers flippers and begins to eat plants a few weeks after birth. The cool thing was to witness these two newborn calves nurse from their mother so you knew they were practically brand new. Definitely a sight worth seeing today 💚
This was our guide Captain Chaz who has worked with Family Adventure Charters for 14+ years in Crystal River, FL. He grew up on these waters and knows all the best spots. He was teaching us all about Manatees and what to look out for and how to spot them in the water. It didn’t take long before Cap found the perfect spot. Lots of manatees were swimming and playing. He dropped anchor and next thing we knew we were immersed into the manatees world. We were encouraged to do the dead mans float and if the manatees engage you and only then you are allowed to rub their backs and if lucky their bellies! They were large and so gentle and when they made eye contact it just melted your heart. They looked you right in the eyes with trust. Our first encounter was a back rub which quickly led to a belly rub. He circled around and was loving it and so we’re we. At one point Lianne was in between 4 manatees and just felt at peace. I had one manatee swim right under me and lift me up right out of the water. This was a great experience because these beautiful gentle mammals were in their natural environment and not captive at some attraction. They are known as Seacows or water puppies because of their gentle demeanor. They come in from the Gulf of Mexico when it gets too cold in the winter to warm up in the fresh waters of Florida. It was a great morning and we would do it all again in a heartbeat 💓 if you are ever in Crystal River go for a swim with the manatees. It will change you forever.