Tag Archives: Everglades National Park

Not Crossing

This sign is more hopeful than practical. Fewer than 10 endangered Florida panthers are thought to prowl the 1.5 million acres of the Everglades National Park. Not surprisingly, we haven’t seen one.

For The Birds

The Everglades is for the birds –  literally. What it lacks in critters of the furry variety, it makes up for with an abundance of the feathered kind. Shannon & I never thought of ourselves as “birders,” mostly because around our neck of the woods the only things you typically see are pigeons. But out here, the avian diversity is truly stunning. Now I’m finding myself slowing down, looking up, and even searching for that little song-bird in the underbrush. Moreover, I really want to know what that giant pink wading bird is. Oh crap, I’m becoming a birder.

Probably our favorite encounter was with this giant pink Roseatte Spoonbill.

Roseatte Spoonbill Image

The Purple Gallinule may have been a close second. This bird is so brilliantly colorful you can’t help but stop and stare. Read More…

Getting Our Feet Wet

Slough Slog, Everglades National Park

We were told that fewer than one-half of one percent of people who visit the Everglades sign up for a “slough slog.” So for every 100 people who show up at the park, only a single person’s bottom half makes the trek. Presumably the smarter top half stays back at camp drinking beers. I don’t know how that works exactly, but the point is, not many people do this, which is part of the attraction.

In our travels we’ve taken countless hikes over dry land. We’ve canoed through alligator infested cypress swamps and we even canoed through the “river of grass” known as the Everglades. One thing we haven’t done, though, is waded through an alligator infested swamp in search of places you can’t get to by boat. That is until now. Read More…

Smack Down

Everglades Canoing

I should have known that yesterday’s post would anger the fates. After stumbling upon that once-in-a-lifetime occurrence, we grabbed paddle and canoe, confident that pressing deep into the Everglade’s watery world would yield even greater discoveries. We were wrong. Surprisingly we saw very little in the way of wildlife; almost none. Clearly Mother Nature is avenging yesterday’s hubris. No matter. We had a great time anyway, so screw her (I’m obviously a slow learner).

Our seven-mile paddle wound us through difficult-to-navigate mangrove swamps and out into the wide open vistas of shallow water lakes. The aptly named Mud Lake was so shallow that our paddle strokes kicked up a cascade of tannish-brown sediment that looked exactly like a pint of Guinness settling in an icy glass; a thing of beauty to be sure. But when left undisturbed, the dregs quickly settled leaving crystal clear water behind. Good enough to drink? Probably not. So we waited until we got home to crack a few cold ones and then toasted Mother Nature, who is still pretty awesome even when giving you the cold shoulder.

Hitching A Ride

When we make an effort to visit critters in their environment, we naturally expect them to show up. We’ve been pretty lucky in that regard, with bison, crocodiles, deer and dolphin all bending to our will. But maybe we’ve set our expectations too low. Maybe it’s not enough that they simply show up and allow us to take pictures. From now on, we’re demanding that they perform tricks, too.

So here we have a Double-crested Cormorant riding on the back of a crocodile. A National Parks Ranger told us she’d never seen anything like this before in her 15 years at the park, and doesn’t expect to see it again. Which isn’t surprising because it isn’t every day you see prey riding its predator like a birthday party pony.

Bird Riding an Alligator Image

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