Sunday, May 21, 2017

5-21-17 Everglades!

What should we do today???  I keep asking Ken what he wants to do, but he's no help.  So I suggested another trip to Naples, or a trip to the beach, or a trip down to the Everglades.  He took the suggestion for the Everglades.  We had been there once before,  Jan. 2016. 
At that time, we saw a ton of birds.  So I was excited to go again.  It was about a 1 1/2 hour drive from Pompano to the Ernest Coe Entrance of the Everglades.  So I took a couple pictures from the car.
Like this one of the water tower in hollywood---I liked the painting on it. 
This brought back fond memories of the night we went to the Cardinal/Marlins game with Angie and Josh in 2016.  Seniors got in free on Thursdays!

We even drove past the Miami airport---more memories.  This is were we left from when we went to St. Thomas with Angie and Josh.
Then there's this farmers market which we've stopped at with Angie a couple times.  We hit there on the way back for their famous milk shakes----you can get it in just about any flavor you want with fresh fruit.  I got a mango/pineapple/banana one.  It was ok, but I should have gotten something simpler, like plain mango!
heading the last few miles to the entrance.
LOVE these trees.  I sure do miss them now that we don't live in Florida anymore.
Normally there's a $25 entrance fee, but Ken has the America the Beautiful - National Parks & Federal Recreational Lands Senior Pass so we got in free.  That pass has saved us hundreds of dollars since he was able to get it at the age of 62.
Our first stop was the Anhinga trail stop.  I got a kick out of this sign there!  Who would try to get close to a gator?!
First wildlife---a couple Florida cooters---known everywhere else as turtles.
Not much wild animal life, so I took pictures of wild plant life.
the start of the Anhinga trail
cute little wild flowers.
Who the trail was named after.
love these wild pom poms.  They seem to be a common tropical wild flower
walking along the boardwalk.
note the fish jumping behind the alligator!
He snapped at the fish, then swam around abit.  Don't know if he got it or not.
one of the platforms
lots of water plants
lots of fish.  I don't remember seeing these Florida gars before.  They sure are pretty, but i wouldn't want to meet one in the water.
another colorful pretty fish
many different kinds, too.
I wonder if this is another lubber grasshopper?  I didn't see any colored like this the other day. 
where are the birds???
this would be a perfect nesting place for birds.
looking at one lookout from another.
a school of smaller fish hiding in roots.
and another kind of fish
a cooter eating one of the spotted dock flowers.
more of the extensive boardwalk.
another golden dragonfly!
love the markings on these fish

more weirdo plants
2nd of the 3 alligators I saw.
More about the different fish here.
next stop was at long pines.  It looks like a nice place for a picnic.  Too bad we didn't bring one.
another view here.
We didn't go here when Angie was with us, so we stopped this time.
The trail was only about 1/4 mile.
a view on the way up.
the look out platform.
the view----don't know what i expected, but it just looks like a field.
continuing on.
another colorful dragonfly
more of the "field"
almost done
a tree in the field.
continuing on the drive
another lake---west lake, I think.
this did have a rookery there, but it was all the way across the lake.
some of the tiny fish here.  look like guppies to me.
Another stop had some turkey vultures.  As I recall, this is where we saw them last time, too.
a lone great egret off in the distance.
Finally got to Flamingo bay.  Last time there were a ton of bird out in the bay.  This time this was about it.
looks like a few osprey were here and a heron and a seagull.
some more egrets off to the side of the bay
couple more birds out in the bay

We had to go to the marina and see if we could find any manatees and the crocodile like we saw last time.
Someone did point out the croc.  He was under a dock, so i couldn't get a very good picture.
did see a manatee, but it disappeared and never came back up.
heading back through the Everglades.

I don't think I would have been very impressed with the Everglades if I hadn't been here a year ago in Jan.  I guess the birds haven't migrated away by then.  It was also cooler then.  But we still had an enjoyable ride.  At least traffic past Miami wasn't bad.  But I don't know if I'll be eager to go back to the Everglades for awhile---at least not in summer.

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