"THE HAPPY MANATEE" by KAREN WILES
"The Happy Manatee" was awarded FIRST PLACE in the Silver Arts Competition held in Wilmington, North Carolina. She will now proceed to the State of North Carolina's Fall Competition.
I wanted to capture the happiness and human like emotion I found in the face of this little manatee who happened to swim by our boat while in the Florida Keys. We were so fortunate that she was young enough to want to play and say hello!
The happy little gal swam by our deck one morning and I was lucky enough to capture the friendliness of her sweet childlike face as she popped up for a quick hello. The "Happy Manatee" had lots of personality... You can see her eagerness and playful manor in every inch of her little smiling face. She seemed to enjoy looking at me as much as I enjoyed looking at her.
Like us, each manatee has its own personality with likes, dislikes, fears, and sense of play. Some manatees are solitary and stay away from other manatees and people; some manatees play follow-the- leader through the water and come up to quiet people and touch them. They are as curious about us as we are them.
Manatees have blue or brown eyes and can see color. They often meet one another and will even appear to be kissing. Manatees love to drink fresh water and will drink from a fresh water spring like a baby drinking from a bottle.
Like the end of the elephant's trunk, manatee lips can work together to grasp and pull food into their mouths. There are stiff whiskers on their upper lips that also help in eating. Their flippers help hold food.
To see these creatures in their natural habitat is something I always cherish.
I loved my visit with this magnificent creature and our photography encounter will be something I hold dear within my memories of Key Largo.
Buy manatee art and help bring awareness to children and adults of just how precious and dear these special friendly mammals can be!
February 5th, 2014
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