everglades

Three days in the Everglades – amazing, challenging, heartbreaking. We were outdoors a lot more than usual. The two most intense physical experiences were hiking through clouds of mosquitoes and kayaking in pouring rain.

For a few days, the tides and weather patterns were of extreme interest as we planned our kayaking and hiking adventures. I learned a lot about tides. I like living with that awareness.

heading out into Florida Bay for early morning kayaking

heading out into Florida Bay for early morning kayaking

The ranger spent a lot of time explaining the tide charts and how the numbers on the maps are calculated. Here’s a photo of the Snake Bight, which we never really got to.

Snake Bight Pole and Troll zone

Snake Bight Pole and Troll zone

I loved having so much bird life around. As well as many other creatures, sharing space together in the subtropical zone.

heron taking flight

heron taking flight

peaceful pelican

peaceful pelican

bottlenose dolphin

bottlenose dolphin

osprey with catch

osprey with catch

crocodile hanging out on the freshwater side of the plug

crocodile hanging out on the freshwater side of the plug

I stayed at the edge of the marina for a long time, watching and waiting for this manatee to rise for a breath.

manatee barely visible

manatee barely visible

The rangers seemed so accepting of the drastic changes of culture and ecology over the relatively few short years. I found these narratives difficult. I want the pristine environments and the indigenous cultures back, and unchanging. That’s the way it should be.

There were two juvenile flamingos sighted in the bay outside the Flamingo Visitor’s Center while we were there. We didn’t see them. Much excitement!

We went to the visitor center before dawn on our last morning. Trying to decide whether to kayak one more time. We were dissuaded by the heat lightning in the east and the time pressure – we had a flight to catch. It was good that we didn’t because our trip to the airport took much longer than expected.

We saw this heron sitting morosely at the edge of the water. He stayed there a long time, not moving. I love his hunched posture and his patience, waiting for light.

last morning

last morning