There are many things you can do around Hernando Beach and Weeki Wachee even on a cold day in January.
Jenkins Creek and the adjacent Linda Pedersen Park is located off Shoal Line Blvd between Weeki Wachee and Hernando Beach. The area is popular with fishermen and in the summer, people enjoy taking a dip in the swimming hole.
After a few days of nice weather in the 70s, temperatures dipped low again and today the high was in the low 50s. The water temperature in the Gulf of Mexico and the canals around Hernando Beach also have cooled off considerable.
Today, we went to Jenkins Creek to see if the Manatees had started to gather yet. There were about 6-8 individual Manatees in the waters. We could see them from the observation tower and the boardwalk at Jenkins Creek. There are four Manatees captured in the photo below, three are coming up for air, a fourth one is resting below.
Manatees - also known as sea cows - live in our warm waters off the coast. When the water temperature drops, they will be looking for warmer water and swim upstream rivers and creeks. Jenkins Creek and the nearby Weeki Wachee River originate from springs that have a constant water temperature of about 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Just warm enough for the Manatees to hang out.
Although Jenkins Creek is fed by a spring, the water level is also dependent on the tide so the water is brackish. Today, tide was low but that didn't stop some fishermen from trying their luck.
You never know what you will see when taking a nature walk. On our way back to the parking lot, we were lucky to observe a large Hawk sitting on one of the pavillions. He was quite observant and watched intently as everyone walked by.