Friday, July 26, 2013

Mystery Mesemb and Some Sirenian Guests

It's been quite a weekend walkabout already. We live in the middle of a Manatee Zone (Trichechus manatus), but I have not seen any up close until recently, when a group from the Banana River decided to dock in the shallows near our house. These herbivorous mammals don't have a particular mating season, and were clearly happy to "Carpe Diem in July"...of course, they were probably just flirting. Can you spot them heading towards the shore?

Sirenian docking maneuvers complete....
See a cute little face and flipper?
These lovable sea mammals are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, so everyone on shore kept their distance, didn't use any flash on their cameras, and stayed very quiet and peaceful. I am glad to say the manatees completely ignored us. It was an amazing moment for everyone.

And for some succulent amazement, my Mystery mesemb (which had radical surgery some time ago) has bloomed. The blossom is a very pale lavender, about 1cm across. It's hard to spot, but it's there, in the center. I still have absolutely no idea what this plant is, but am sticking to my story that it is a Gibbaeum.
Have a wonderful weekend walkabout in your neck of the woods!


  1. Hi Marla,
    When we were kids we would canoe on the Banana River and then go up the little Eau Gallie river. The manatees would slowly surface near our canoe, up close and personal! I have many fond memories of my childhood encounters with these creatures. Thanks for the photos!

  2. Aren't they wonderful? They had a very rough winter and spring this year in Florida- in some areas all their seagrass disappeared, and there were many starving manatees. They tried to eat other sea greens but that just made them sicker. They seem OK in our area though, happily.