Terry and I got on the free bus to Blue Spring State Park. At Blue Spring everyone piled off and immediately crowded onto the first wooden platform overlooking the spring. A Manatee was relaxing in the bright green sunshine. A turtle sunned himself on a log. An alligator stealthfully approached the log. The turtle got nervous and slipped into the water. I had never seen Blue Spring State Park so crowded. Terry and I decided to walk up the wooden boardwalk to the source of the spring. There the crystal clear water could be seen gushing up from a fissure. Hundreds of foot long black fish were lying around the fissure all of them facing away, looking from the distance like tad poles. Groups of them would periodically swim to the water's surface where they would splash their snout out of the water before swimming back to the bottom. It looked like they were rising up to breathe, but fish have gills. I didn't notice any bugs on the water's surface. It was a strange ritualistic dance that still has me guessing.I didn't sketch any manatees at Blue Spring since it was so darn cold and the crowds of people were crushing. We saw maybe ten manatees in all.
When we got back to the festival site, there was a huge line of people waiting to get back on the bus. I am glad we went to the spring early. It was time for some greasy festival food. I was starving. We settled on grilled hot dogs. On the main stage Bubba " Whoopass "Wilson was performing. As he sang "Southern Girl", we found a picnic table and sat down. I became fascinated with an older couple sitting arm in arm listening to the music. I got my sketchbook out as soon as I finished eating. Terry read the book she had brought along while I worked. A young family sat opposite me. The boy, maybe 12 years old, became fascinated with what I was doing. When he lost interest, he started dreaming about going on all the rides. He turned to his mom and said, "Are you sure you only have four dollars." She shook her head. Any hopes he had of getting on the rides faded away from his face.
By the time I finished this sketch, the sun was getting low on the horizon and it was getting colder. Terry and I decided to drive to Deland and walk around the quaint downtown district. I hadn't noticed another sketch artist all day. This had been a solo SketchCrawl. If others did stop out, I hope they got to fully experience everything this home grown festival had to offer.