This is a spring called Three Sisters in Crystal River. Springs are fed from rain water that is filtered through the ground and as the pressure builds up it gets pushed back to the surface. That is one way that nature filters water until its clean.
So the locals organized and preserved the property from development. In 1994 Jacque Cousteau filmed “Forgotten Mermaids” here, and now the Dept. of the Interior owns it. Pretty cool.
We rode this trolley that was made decades ago out of cast iron and merry-go-round parts to get out to this refuge so we could walk around and learn something.
My parents were interested in taking us to see Manatees on the Three Sisters Springs, but it was not the right time of year for that.
So I’m guessing that there were at least ten of these diesel-spewing monsters made.
I think Dad’s having a nice time but his mouth doesn’t know it.
We got a guide that was retired from the Dept. of the Interior, who volunteers a couple times a week to talk about the local wetlands project. We walked around the newly created wetland, which is a successful experiment in cleaning the nutrients out of runoff water.
Here is what water looks like when you and I are done with it. This is the water that comes into this very small wetland for cleaning.
The Bull Rushes were hand planted a year ago. They’re thriving.
The birds came almost immediately afterward.
Blue swamp iris. That’s wild.
The birds eat the Apple snails that are plentiful here.
Remember, this is just over a year old.
This is a Lantana. Also wild.
Towards the end of the small wetland the water ran clear.
This is Northwest Florida, called the nature coast. It’s hasn’t been developed with condos like the rest of the State.
One of the springs. I’m told the manatees love the steady temperatures here in the winter. Me too.
Nobody there could identify this orange stringy plant.
We’re coming back next year when the gulf is colder so we can swim with manatees!