As I was surfing the Net I came across a video by Eric Flagg about the Ichetucknee River here in North Florida. It showed the familiar oaks that rose majestically into the sky and theossy cypress tress alongside the crystal clear river that is the “Itch.”
I was immediately mesmerized and drifted back to my younger years all the way back to the late 1970’s when I first was introduced to this magical river. The water was crystal clear you could see your feet and the bass and mullet and the sand and vegetation at the bottom of the river no matter how deep the water. I imagine myself swaying back and forth in the water allowing the rapid currents to propel me along as I snorkeled and took in the sights.
Then I was jolted awake by the video, there was some underwater footage of a full grown manatee swimming in what looked to be the Itch! I put my brain in reverse and tried to jog my memory but the manatee just didn’t fit in. I didn’t remember seeing any in the Itch and that covered the 1980’s the entire summer of 1990 when I lived there in Three River Estates and the numerous times in between up until I lived there from 2003 to 2008 and started taking daily trips once again. Surely there must be some mistake.
I questioned Eric about this film and yes indeed this video was taken on the itch just a few years ago. I learned that manatees were first sighted there in 1991 and 1992 but that this was a rare occurrence back then, but over the years the number of sightings had steadily increased.
The thought of manatees coming to visit the Itch has filled my heart with hope. I want to do what I can to keep the manatee population up once again. A lot of credit goes to the Save The Manatee Club a non profit organization dedicated to saving the manatees from extinction. Robert’s World Money has drawn up a special package for the Florida State $50 Dollar Note . We will donate $4.00 of every sale to go directly to Save The Manatee Club.