Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Heading south for the day.

7:30 AM
Today we're heading down to the Everglades National Park on the bike.  It's about a 2 1/2 hour ride south on highway 27 past Miami before turning west toward to the Coe Visitors Center.  The weather will be in the 70's and sunny, so it should be a wonderful ride.  We will either return late today or possibly stay in that area for the night.  I'll try to post some pics later today either way.
Well, later today turned into tomorrow I'm afraid.   We were just a tad tired when we got back yesterday, and even though we only saw a fraction of the park, what a fraction it was.  We stopped at the Ernest Coe Visitor Center to get a map and see the displays and then headed to the Anhinga and Jumbo Limbo trails.  The Jumbo Limbo trail, named for the Jumbo Limbo trees along the trail, is a short walk through what is called a "hammock" which is a hardwood stand of trees on land that is only a couple of inches higher than the surrounding wetlands.  It was an interesting look at the various levels of flora, but the Anhinga trail topped that by a mile. 
As soon as we started walking the trail, there were birds everywhere and alligators within a few yards.  Even though the trail is less than a mile long, it took a couple of hours to walk, and we did it again after lunch. Here are just a few pictures.  I'll post more over the next day or two.

So alligators first.  Most were just sunbathing, but we saw a couple swimming right by us.  They are totally quiet as their tails push them through the water.
 One of the fascinating things we saw was the Cormorants diving under the water to fish.  They were amazing swimmers, and we saw several of them come up with fish in their mouths.  Here's a sequence I caught.  This Cormorant actually lost the Gar for a few seconds but dove under again and brought it back up.

This was a slim Gar, but we also saw them swallow a couple of flatter fish like bluegills.  That really changed the look of the bird's neck.

I also got a good close-up of this Double Crested Cormorant.  I was close enough so that I could get just his head in the shot.  No cropping needed.

I haven't identified this type of turtle yet.  It looks like an ancient creature.

And then here is what I called the candy corn bird.  It's beak looks just like a large piece of candy corn.  Perfect color.  It's actually a Common Moorhen.
And I wouldn't leave without a few more 'gators.  While we were watching these, someone dropped their lens cap off the dock.  Funny, no one was willing to climb down and get it.

1 comment:

  1. awesome pictures!! keep em coming :)