Fall in the Everglades

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Egret fishing from a sunbeam.

Daughter, Sharon, was visiting from Texas last week and one of the things she wanted to do was visit the Everglades. I have traveled the Southern Loop Road, a 26 mile loop of narrow dirt road through the Big Cyprus Preserve, many times in the peak winter months when it is cooler and water levels are low.

I didn’t have any photos on file from October or November so I was a little concerned about whether there would be birds and alligators in the water close to the road for Sharon to enjoy.

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When we stopped at the first (last) stop with facilities, several vultures were in the trees welcoming us. Or did they detect the smell of old age?

As we drove deeper into the everglades, the first thing I noticed was higher water. If the road hadn’t been well built we would have had to have kayaks. The higher water levels provided beautiful water-scapes of foliage

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In an environment where I don’t detect any dramatic change of seasons, the plants in the high water provided color.

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.And there were a few birds but not as many as I normally see. The high water provides good fishing throughout most of the everglades. We heard lots of splashing and thrashing about in the brush – just out of view. It was kind of eerie in the daylight, what would my imagination do at night?

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Heron

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Ibis high in a tree. It surprises me to see big birds up so high.

We didn’t see any alligators sunning themselves along the road but this was to be expected because it has been hot, with very warm nights. The alligators were keeping cool in the water. At several places Sharon would say she saw an alligator, but then question whether it was a floating log. Some were real because they sank underwater when she opened the car door.

That happened in one spot and we were all sure because we could see the ring of bubbles where the alligator had dove deep. We were feeling a bit pleased with the sight when she noticed babies in the water – about 20 of them. We didn’t get too close because we knew Mama was somewhere very close keeping an eye on us – and we knew she would strike if we reached down to pick one up (also not a good idea because I understand alligators are hatched biting and fighting.

20151111-DSC_0056Sharon was very pleased with her excursion deep into the Everglades and we ended the day by sharing a gaterburger and gater nuggets in Everglades City. And for me, going into this untamed piece of the Glades never grows old because it isn’t staged. I get to see how nature unfolds it’s story for the first time, all over again.

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12 Comments »

  1. I was there! I saw a turtle that was 2 feet across, but nobody else saw it, so everyone thinks I am telling stories about “the one that got away.” Really. It was a wonderful morning, and the gator burger was good, too.

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    • I forgot about the turtle I didn’t see and didn’t photograph. How rational of me. I hope I see it next time I’m on the road. We did have a good time!

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  2. Oh wow! Gorgeous photos of the foliage, Pat, the birds and what about those baby alligators! I can’t believe you got so close to them – lucky you weren’t a person-burger for their mother. Thanks for dropping by my blog. Lovely to see your face in my community widget.

    “Or did they detect the smell of old age?” 🙂 LOL

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    • Now my turn to LOL – being a person-burger. One of the babies did hiss at us. We were watching for Mama and the babies didn’t move away from us. I am trying to catch up on the people I follow because I’ve been distracted by other things for a while.

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      • I bet that alligator could’ve moved a LOT faster than you! You’re very lucky.

        Yeah, well, life does get in the way of blogging and it is actually impossible to keep up with everyone unless you chain yourself to the computer, tablet, phone, whatever. Thanks for dropping by Pat, I really do appreciate it.

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