Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happier times

I'm really unphotogenic and I tend to avoid cameras so when someone asked me for a photo to use for a blogger Christmas card I had to send them a picture of a photo because I don't even have a scanner. I figure since it's going to be out there anyway now, I may as well post it here for those of you who have been reading me all this time and don't know what I look like. The pix is about five years old but it was the most recent shot I could find that I was willing to circulate. It's a photo of me feeding a manatee that came up to the docks when I was vacationing in the Florida Keys.



That was one of the top ten coolest things that ever happened to me. You can't see it in the photo but the guy on the right is looking at the baby manatee, whose size was pretty intimidating on its own.

When they arrived I was in the water about up to my waist, just walking around looking at the sea bed. I had just started heading back to shore when I felt something bump me from behind. I turned around. It was the mother manatee. I had never seen one before and having this two ton fish bumping me in the butt freaked me out. I screamed and started running for the beach.

Meanwhile, everyone on the beach, including tiny children, knew what it was and went running into the water to play with it. Embarrassing. It took me a couple of hours to work up the nerve to touch it myself, but by the end, I was spending ten bucks a day on lettuce to feed her while she was hanging around.

Despite the shaky begining, and you would have laughed to see me quaking the first time I got in the water with her again, in the end it turned out to be a magical experience. One of the happiest times in my life.

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6 Comments:

Blogger Donald Douglas said...

Libby, actually, you have a much less flattering picture at Detroit News. Here, with the manatees, you look happy and pretty.

Bless you on this Christmas, and I mean it even though we're essentially partisan enemies.

Hope your ankle is feeling better.

2:31:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

In the spirit of the season Donald, thank you. That headshot at DetNews is teh horrible. I took it myself on a cheezy camera. Someday I'll get a better one done.

The ankle is progressing, but I'm not sure it's getting better. It doesn't hurt as much but the swelling is worse. I'm just hoping it means it's running its course.

3:05:00 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

I think it's technically illegal to feed them, but less risky than gestures of comity toward enemies of sanity. Manatees aren't trying to sell tyranny.

9:54:00 AM  
Anonymous Larkspur said...

Prolly not supposed to feed them, except it's LETTUCE. If it were Cheetos, I might scold. Besides, manatees hang with humans of their own volition, I think. It's not like feeding the grizzlies.

And that photo is beautiful.

And your ankle. Dear, we need to start thinking of ways for you to get this checked out. Have you checked your county website to see what services might be available? At the very least, do you have a supply of ibuprofen? Do you think an ACE bandage would still help? 'Cause we can get you those things easily via the intertubez. Crutches, not so much.

Hey. Maybe you could pitch an article about what it's like for an uninsured lady to navigate the poor peoples' health care system at Christmas on the eve of a depression. Couldn't they maybe pay for the X-rays as expenses?

11:26:00 AM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

They do get used to humans when fed. They also love fresh water out of a hose, but at least in Florida, it's illegal to feed wildlife. In fact there are so many regulations protecting manatees, a lot of boaters are up in arms and very angry.

I'm not one of them. I'd rather put up with slow zones than hit one of these sad eyed creatures.

Yes, do try to get an X-ray. My wife fell and hurt her wrist last April and was sure it was nothing, but the pain didn't go away and it did turn out to be a break. You never know.

2:40:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

I'm sure it's illegal to feed them. There was one woman there who wanted to report the manatee to the enviro police. And the fresh water is a big treat for them apparently. Some of the people were bringing out gallon jugs of water and giving it to them. It's pretty amazing to watch them rear up out of the water to drink it. I just gave them lettuce though.

As for the foot, my ankle is fine I think. That never hurt and being rather clumsy all my life, this is not the first time I've done this. I think it would have hurt much more if I broke something. I have a very low pain threshold. And it is getting better. I actually went out yesterday to my dentist appointment and found I could drive so now I have an ace bandage. I'm going to try that, late though it seems to add the compression.

9:24:00 AM  

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