Florida Scenics Blog- The art of Sharon Osterholt

The Florida State Park Plein Air Painting Tour – Painting each of Florida's State Parks on location

Park #31 – Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park has to be one of my favorite parks so far! From the parking area visitors take a boat ride to the main entrance. The natural river offers a beautiful beginning to the day. Whether you are a photographer or just a nature lover, Homosassa Springs is a great place to observe birds and wonderful Florida scenery. Of course there are Manatees too! I was able to see dozens of manatees and several with nursing babies. There is a walkway bridge over the spring run, where it is easy to just look down into the clear spring waters and watch the manatees and fish swim by. The spring is also famous as a “fish bowl” and the name doesn’t exaggerate! A viewing platform allows visitors to walk down and get a view underwater of the thousands, if not millions of fish just swirling by in the spring water. Nearby is the wildlife section of the park. This is a leftover of when Homosassa Springs was a tourist attraction. Now the animals are all Florida natives – except for the Hippo named Lu. Lu was enjoying himself & putting on a show the morning I was there with his trademark “blowout”. I won’t describe in detail – just don’t stand behind him! Many of the animals have been injured and are unable to be released back into the wild. Among the permanent resident animals, many wild birds also fly in on their own to take advantage of a nice home and free food. It was so much fun viewing the park, I had a hard time settling down to paint! I finally selected a spot to paint a view of some palms leaning over the spring run, with a few purple blooming asters and red fall leaves on some maples. (I’ll admit I had to take a bunch of breaks to watch as the manatees swam below me!) This State Park is a must see! For more information visit their website

Homosassa Springs -  8x10" oil on linen panel

Homosassa Springs – 8×10″ oil on linen panel

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