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As I see, you like my stories about Florida so, I will tell you one more today. It is about the area where we live. Our town, Crystal River, is rather small with the population of about 15,000, located at the estuary of the river with the same name. There is almost nowhere to go or nothing to do here. Most of people work somewhere else (like me) or have their jobs in service or tourist business. But we can't leave this area as we all in love with its primordial wild beauty. When I moved to Florida from Boston about 30 years ago and saw Crystal River for the first time I didn't hesitate. I was sure, I want to live here all my life. After living in a big fuzzy city I fell in love with this land that gave me peace of my mind, feeling of harmony with nature being its integral part. I will never exchange this feeling for any luxurious life I can afford. Being a university professor I have been working with young people all my life. And when they say they want to make their carreers to buy luxurious cars, houses, clothes, etc., I always want to ask if they have ever looked around, read world news, visited other countries. Unfortunately, our new generation is spoiled with secured, comfortable, well-organized lifestyle. They don't even know that people from all over the world come here every year just to swim with manatees and to come in touch with our nature. So, here we are to the point! Crystal River is the only one place in the world where you can swim with wild manatees legally. Many hundred of them immigrate from colder waters to Florida in fall and stay till spring or summer. Many of them never leave our waters. Manatees are wonderful creatures! They are smart, very friendly and trusting. They are not scared of people and seem to love us like dolphines. Well, I'd like to say that manatees are the most inordinary animals in our area and there are so very many of them here in winter! Crystal River wildlife park is not as large as Silver Springs or Everglades but you can see very many different animals and birds here.
Also, you can meet black Floridian bears here. They are not big or dangerous and their cubs are very funny like all cubs!
Well, if you are patient and brave enough, you can also see water horses (hippopotamuses) here. Just have a look at this peacefully resting female! It reminds me of Gloria from "Madagascar"!
Well, There is much more to see here and tell about but the size of a blog is limited. The only one more thing I'd like to say is that some thoughtless irresponsible authorities permitted to construct the nuclear plant just on the Crystal River! I hope, you can see the contrast! Sure, America consumes much energy and needs it badly to live comfortably but why to built nuclear stations close to wildlife refuges? What will remain if we kill everything alive? Hope, you agree, my friends! Have a nice trip round Crystal River!
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