Blogs from Everglades National Park, Florida, United States, North America


Flamingo Marina, Everglades National Park Should we, or shouldn't we? Those were the questions. They bedeviled poor Joan for the last week, disturbing her sleep, occupying her wakeful hours, until they became such an obsession that she was developing anxiety disorders just thinking about it. You see, Joan has a thing about water. Its not a particularly rational thing, but it is a thing that affects her abilities to enjoy certain activities. She does not like getting in or on water that she can't see the bottom of. So, for example, she might wade through the surf at Gulf Islands because she can, by golly, see the sand underneath. But the waters in the Everglades - dark with mangrove tannins that turn the water into the color of hot chocolate with maybe a little brandy in ... read more

Snake Bight Trail, Everglades National Park, Florida That's 'Bight', not 'Bite' - no-one got bit yesterday. In fact, much to Joan's disappointment, we didn't even see a snake. Although it wasn't for lack of trying! Yesterday was a hiking day as we set out to see the sights of the southern part of the park. We started by going back to the visitor center, where we chatted up with another park volunteer, Roxanne, (who wants to subscribe to my blog and has friended Joan on Facebook. Its easy to become friends with park people, well, some of them anyway). Roxanne helps run the store part of the VC and we were in there to buy a long-sleeved shirt for myself, and Joan wanted another postcard for Annabelle. At every National Park, I buy a tee shirt ... read more

Anhinga Trail, Long Pine Key, Mahogany Hammock, Everglades National Park, Florida After three full days of seeing the Everglades, we pretty much thought we were done. There was one section, though, that we hadn't explored and that is the central section, right at the main entrance to the park (and the one part that pretty much everyone sees when they come here). We drove the 40 miles back up to the Ernest Coe Visitor Center. The movie here is a very good introduction to the park and covers the overall ecology of the thing (as a water processing machine) without getting very technical. It was a nice way to put the whole picture together after we had seen most of the pieces. They also have a kid-level picture of the largest alligator ever seen in the ... read more

Flamingo Campground, Everglades National Park Yesterday was a driving day, but not a really long one, only about 140 miles. We went east on the Tamiami Highway (US 41), past Shark Valley and across the top of Everglades Park. To the south of the highway is the park with the natural slough trying to do its thing, to the north is a long full canal taking water to Miami and depriving the Everglades of whatever runoff it was supposed to get. I understand there are efforts to restore at least part of the natural flow, and there is a lot of construction going on. Maybe it will be enough to keep the Everglades water machine working, I don't know. At the northeastern corner of the park you catch a Florida highway and proceed south down through ... read more

Flamingo, Everglades National Park, Florida We took a much needed downday yesterday. Slept in, walked the dogs, cooked a bacon and egg breakfast - brunch actually, took a nap, read some more about Everglades ecology, and grilled brats for dinner, drank a bit of wine, went to bed, read some more, then lights out. It was a real challenging day, but allows us to replenish our energy and get ready for more sightseeing. We did get another game of cards in as the Joan/Michael tournament continues. We play a game called 3-13, which we learned from our friends Janet and Lee Siedliecki. It has a lot of luck in it with just enough skill to make you think you might not be getting older. This tournament, I'm winning (but Joan hates it when I gloat, so ... read more

Shark Valley, Everglades National Park, Florida No sharks here, the 'valley' is rather doubtful, and what the hell is a 'slough'? Let me start with that last question since it is perhaps the most important component of the entire Everglades. A few thousand years ago - and we are not talking geological time here, but literally about the time they were building the pyramids in Egypt - the Everglades as we know them were just getting started. It all starts with the Kissimmee River and its flow into Lake Okeechobee. That part of central Florida gets a lot of rain during the summer which ends up mostly going into the big circular lake you see on all Florida maps. Eventually the lake overflows, but because Florida is so remarkably flat, the water doesn't channel into a ... read more

10,000 Islands Tour,Everglades National Park, Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park, Everglades City, Florida Yesterday was the exact opposite of the day before and we were ready for it. We explored two of the four eco regions that make up the Southern Florida Coastal Plain - the ecologists term for what we know as The Everglades. Our trips survey wide areas, but, if there is a core to this trip, then it is here. Joan picked the south largely because she wanted to see this part of the world and, especially, to see an alligator, or two. We accomplished that, and a lot more, yesterday as we headed east out of our state park campground just a few miles. As we were driving we could tell we had entered a different world. Vegetation was lush and so ... read more

Today I decided to head to the Everglades with a new friend from my hostel; Anémone from Belgium. We set off early after wolfing down our free breakfast - I snuck away an apple and a banana for lunch, such is the life of a traveller on a budget! Managed to get two cancellation places on the morning tour which was lucky. A simple hours drive from Miami and we arrived at the Everglades National Park. Following a pitstop for some earplugs - as if I need those, I thought. I crank Céline Dion up to full volume in my car, the airboat can't be that loud - and also some more water (my second bottle of the day and it was only 10:30am, but 33 degree heat will cause you to drink like a fish). ... read more
The Everglades from the airboat
A bit windy
One year old 'gators

We left the Keys this morning and drove through the nursery and growing capital of Florida on a smaller highway. We crossed Florida east to west on Tamiami trail and arrived at Everglade city and Chokolostee towns before noon. We first went on a pontoon boat through the 10 000 Islands of the Everglade park where we saw mangrove islands, dolphins and many sea birds. Terry and i bought stone crab at Grimm's fisheries and ate on their wharf. I am now in a cool reception patio at the Everglade City airboat tours waiting for Terry to get back from his ride. We are bringing stone crab and Keylime pie to our friends the Draytons in Bonito Springs where we will stay tonight. read more
image Today 27th we are at the Draytons.... read more

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