Pastel, 9 x 12 inches

My only regret from my life along the Gulf Coast of Florida is that I never saw a Manatee. Friends would report seeing one now and then within minutes of where I lived. All I had to do was drive up to Crystal River or Homosassa Springs at the right time of year. I would have waded into the water to hug one — highly (and rightly) against rules and regulations.

My one pet peeve (and a violently strong one) during those same years was with large speed boats and wave runners. Almost non-existent during the first six years I lived in Sarasota, they became a damned nuisance quickly after being introduced. It wasn't so much that they bothered me with their noise and gasoline but that their riders ripped through the waters without any sense or care about what they destroyed. Alas, the poor, gentle Manatee has been a prime victim.

West Africans believed that the Manatee was once human. They are thought to have evolved from land animals and are more closely related to elephants than any other creature. Another prayer goes out that what's left of the habitat for this magical creature is spared.

Learn more about Manatees. Watch a quick video of a manatee in action.


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Cathy Gatland said...

Manatees, like other giants of nature, elephant and whales, somehow draw such feelings of empathy, one can hardly bear to think of their distress as their surroundings are destroyed, or how anyone can knowingly hurt them. I love how you've painted this, with such sparkling dappled light.

Don Gray said...

Lovely pastel, Suzanne, with a beautiful feel of light filtered through water.

joshemari said...

Suzanne, C’est un très joli pastel. Tu as réussi que l’animal soit beau. Il est beau!
Félicitations, Salut.

Suzanne McDermott said...

Thanks so much everyone — I rather like my manatee, too. I was amazed when I stood back from the paper for a look.

Great to hear from you, Don — it's been too long! (I must go visit....)

joshemari said...

Suzanne, c'est moi, de nouveau. J’ai lu toute tes écris du mouvement du “Spirit of the Gulf Challenge” et je veux que tu sache, que je suis de tout mon coeur, avec toi! Oui, avec ta douleur. Je comprends très bien. Pour moi, le problème, est que je ne peux pas t’aider de la même façon comme les autres, parce-que je ne comprends pas l’Anglais et j’ai des difficultés pour écrire le Français. En plus, j’e ne sait pas comme ça marche toutes les questions d’ordinateur. C’est difficile pour moi toute ça. Mais j’aimerais t’aider.
Je suis très triste avec toute l’histoire de la marée noire du pétrole. C’est horrible ! C’est terrible le mal que ça peut faire cette accident comme aussi le mal qu’ils on eu a Chernovil, avec le nucléaire !!!
En Espagne on a eu plusieurs problèmes de la marée noire.
On est en train de détruire toute ce joli monde avec ces accidents…avec le armes, les guerres… et je deviens triste quand je pense a toute ça…
Je t’embrasse.

Suzanne McDermott said...


Envié a mi amiga Teresa a usted por correo electrónico. (

Ella le envió la esencia del espíritu del desafío del Golfo, en español. Déjame saber que ha recibido y entender. ¿De acuerdo? XO