Thursday, December 13, 2012

Last few days in FL

Dec 13, 2012 Thurs
Tomorrow I arrive in MO. I am stopping off to visit for Christmas on my way back to CA. I had to put my travels on hold due to a foot issue. My left foot has been giving me problems off and on for the last few months. Now the problem is back and will not go away. What a way to start the New Year. At least I get to spend Christmas with the family.
The last place I was staying was Midway campground. It is located in Big Cypress Preserve FL. While I was still able to get around I took a couple of back roads in the park and found a few birds and LOTS of alligators.

Look who's coming out of the swamp to greet me
Black-crowned Night-heron
White Ibis
Tricolored Heron
Anhinga Female
Little Blue Heron
Red-shouldered Hawk
View from Loop Road - Big Cypress Preserve
I also drove over to Shark Valley. It is located on the very northern end of the Everglades. They have a 15 mile tram ride through the Everglades with a docent to explain the plants and animals and the entire eco system.

This guy was blocking our path. I said I would distract him with the camera while people walked behind me. I was about 10 feet from the gator. I learned a lot about these critters while in the Everglades. They like to pose. I was using a 17-35 mm lens. Probably won't do that again. Almost made poopies when he/she opened it's jaws and looked right at me. YIKES!!!!!!!
Green Heron - Shark Valley FL

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Everglades National Park FL

Nov 21, 2012 Wed
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and do I have a lot to be thankful for. I arrived at Everglades National Park today. When someone says “Everglades” I have always pictured a cypress swamp full of alligators and snakes. I didn’t give much thought to the “glades” part of the Everglades. When you first drive into the park it appears to be a vast grassland with a few stands of trees scattered about the landscape. A stop at the visitor center will soon explain that what appears to be a “grassland” is a river, many miles wide, flowing from Lake Okeechobee to the Florida Bay. In the 1940’s conservationist Marjory Stoneman Douglas named the gently sloping landscape a “river of grass”. No park elevation tops eight feet above sea level. Like most of our nations wild and natural places the Everglades and its unique eco system are threatened by human encroachment and competition for water. Much conservation still needs to be addressed to save this natural wonder for future generations.
Dec 2, 2012 Sun
I have spent 12 days in the Everglades and have found several critters, birds, and swamp plants to photograph. If the predictions of the experts on global warming are correct, this will all be under water in a few years and not here for future generations to enjoy. God help the the planet and it's creatures.

What would a trip to the Everglades be without a gator photo?
Black Vulture
Thousands of Black and Turkey spend their winter in FL
Black Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Turkey Vulture
Double-crested Cormorant
Anhinga soaking up the FL sun
Anhinga with a fish it caught by spearing it with its beak.
It then pulled its beak out and swallowed the fish whole.
What a sight that was.
Great Egret
Green Heron
Green Heron
Little Blue Heron
Little Blue Heron
Tri-colored Heron
Tri-colored Heron
Wood Stork
If the Everglades end up under water as predicted from the current rate of global warming,
future generations may never see a Wood Stork in the wild.
Wood Stork
Purple Gallinule
Tree Swallows eating bugs from the bushes. There were hundreds of swallows in the sky and then they would swoop down on a bush and have an eating frenzy and then take off and do it all over again. Interesting to watch.
Vermillion Flycatcher
I think this little bird was lost. They are not supposed to be east of TX.

I found some other interesting subjects during my visit. 

Lily Pad

Controlled burns are used to simulate naturally occurring fires that help promote new plant growth. 
Hey this cloud has a hole in it.
The sun sets on the Everglades
The Everglades
Mangrove Forest Everglades NP
Rainbow over the Everglades
A nice gift for my last day at the Everglades NP