Last week Bob and I and four other friends of ours went to the Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park here in Florida.
This 210 acre park is home to native Florida wildlife and one of the only place you can see a West Indian manatee up close 365 days a year. These manatees reside in the freshwater spring while re-acclimating to the natural environment before being returned to the wild, as most of them were brought here injured or orphaned.
This is a self tour park starting with a scenic and nature ride on a pontoon boat to the entrance of the park.
The park seems to be a haven for bird watchers. While walking along the paved trails and boardwalks we observed a black bear, Key dear, bobcats, alligators, a Gray fox, and cougars.
After hiking around the park we were all ready to search out a place to have dinner and we found a very nice restaurant right on the river and we were lucky enough to get a table by the large picture window across from
Monkey Island. Monkey Island has a lighthouse on it trees, a monkey house, rope swings and lots of other playthings. During the 60's there were many monkeys along the canal and this inspired a resort owner to bring a few to the island to attract tourism.
Today there five spider monkeys on the island: there is Ralph, the alpha male, Sassy, the matriarch, Ebony their offspring and the two newest female adoptions, Eve and Emily. The monkeys are fed twice a day from a menu designed specifically for them consisting of : green leafy vegetables, bananas, sweet potatoes, raw peanuts and monkey chow. They stay on the island because they prefer not to swim and the river acts as a natural barrier. They delighted us all through dinner with their playful antics.