Saturday, December 4, 2010


We now have moved to Miami, the southern end of the city. Amazingly we found a campground which is in a large county park and quite isolated from the city. The traffic jams we encountered yesterday driving through the city were quite awful so we were very relieved to find this campground and get out of the traffic. The Everglades we toured today is the area within the Everglades National Park. Just before entering the park we drove past many agricultural fields which were being irrigated. The first informational sign we saw within the park said something to the effect that the Everglades were on "life support". In other words, the surrounding areas have been so developed that the Everglades are drying up, and to keep them alive pumping stations have been set up for their life support. It is hard to imagine that our grandchildren may not be able to see what we saw today, we so enjoyed our time within the park. At our first stop  I noticed a bush with a zebra longspan butterfly on it, he sat long enough for me to get this picture.
The first hike we took in the park is called the Anhinga Trail. It was in this area where we saw the majority of wildlife found in the park. Initially we saw cormorants and thought they were the anhinga which heavily populate this area.. The anhinga is similar to the cormorant by the manner in which he drys his wings, and he also has blue eyes.. However, the cormorant is all black and his beak is hooked at the end. The anhinga is pictured below. We watched him for a long time while he was diving and eating his lunch of fish. He is quite an interesting bird. While he is diving for fish you can only see his long skinny neck come up out of the water for air. I thought at first that it was a large snake I was seeing jumping out of the water!
The anhinga has a beautiful turquoise ring around his eyes when he is mating. We would never had noticed that had we not met up with a park volunteer. It was his day off, but he still was eager to share with us his knowledge of the wildlife we were seeing. He also pointed out to us a purple gallinule bird, which he claimed is one of the most beautiful birds in the park.That bird is in the lower left corner of the picture below, unfortunately he was a bit too far from us for us to fully appreciate his colors.
We saw many alligators below the boardwalk of the trail, even a baby one who could not have been more than a foot long. The alligators pictured below seemed to enjoy hanging out with each other. I can already see now that I will have to do another posting on the Everglades, there is so much to share about everything we saw during our day there.

No comments:

Post a Comment