Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

Or a better title….

Pipety Piper Pops in at the Park

Piper

And that is why we have an annual family pass to the state parks.  Because whenever a small person stops by for a visit, they immediately ask to go to the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. (It even ranks higher than a boat ride!) Or as all of the grandkids call it, the ZOO!  “Grandma, parks have swings.  Zoos have animals.”  

We could go to Weeki Wachee and see the mermaids, but the little ones always choose the local park.  Which is great for me because it’s five minutes away.

We usually spend about an hour there and they are ready to go.  That’s about how long my attention span is, too.

On this visit, Piper wanted to go all three days that she was here.  And now she wants to be an alligator scientist.  How cool is that?

Since I went three days last week, I was able to get a lot of really great pictures.

On day one we headed to the Fish Bowl first.  Divers were in the water measuring the captive manatees.

Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

Piper did her version of a flamingo.

Piper

The bears were both out and about.

bear

What does the fox say?  (Hey, I’m with a four-year-old!)

Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

And an alligator

Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

On day two, Piper did a quick study on the flamingos and realized that they tuck their head under their wing when they are relaxing.

Here’s day two’s version….

Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

Not tucked here, but I like this snap!

Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

Roseate Spoonbill with no fear.

Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

And then we went to the Wildlife Encounter, which was an alligator on this visit.

A wee baby alligator.

Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

And lots of dead alligator parts.

Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

I thought Piper had zoned out during the presentation.  Hey, she’s only four.  But as we walked out she said “THAT WAS AWESOME!”

And now Piper has her career mapped out–she wants to be an alligator scientist.  We went to visit the alligators in the reptile house and then back to the alligator pen where they keep the big ones and then back to the reptile house.  And she repeated just about everything the Wildlife Encounter volunteer talked about.  

Then we saw a wild manatee when we walked over the bridge.

Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

And Piper needed to get her picture taken.

Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

Day three was just a quick dash through.

We got there just in time for the Wildlife Encounter.  This time we got to meet a Great Horned Owl.

Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

And I thought the talk was fascinating.  Piper was much less impressed. She will not be an owl scientist.

Here’s one of the Red Wolves.  They usually hang out in the back of the enclosure so I thought this was a good pic.

Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

We did visit the alligators and the reptile house a few times.  (But not the owls!)

Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

Piper also perfected her flamingo stance.

Piper

Piper learned to stay away from the back side of Lu when he’s on the land.  I told her you couldn’t ever get that stink out. She liked to repeat that phrase for the rest of her visit.  (The things Grandma’s teach their grandkids.)

Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

Our very favorite part of day three’s visit was the otters.  

Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

They were being fed apples and melons.  The otter rolled the apple into the water.  Piper giggled.  As only a four-year-old can giggle.

Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park

Best visit ever!

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