Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Everglades-Fishing

Here’s one last post about our day in the Everglades.  I just want to document who caught the biggest fish so there can be no denying it at later family get -togethers! Smile

This is, Kenny, Captain Catfish!  Apparently, the first one to hook a catfish (which seem to be plenteous and not so great for eating), becomes the Captain.  Kenny held the title from his last trip out and began our outing with it in tact.


This is Wesley freeing a Ladyfish.  We kept a couple of Ladyfish and added them to our bait of shrimp.


Wally, getting serious about fishing.


My first fish… a pretty nice trout!  Wally also caught a trout.


This is my trout next to Kenny’s Jack.  We took this pic just for fun.  This Jack was too small but they are a fun game fish to catch.  Later in the day we found a spot among the Mangroves where the guys enjoyed reeling them! 


This guy is a Needlefish.


This is my Red Fish.  Can you believe it…he wasn’t big enough to keep! 


This is Becky’s Red Fish…almost as big as she is!  Hers was a keeper.


And Kenny also caught a Red fish that was 20”  long!


This is Jeff, describing to us how sharp the teeth of a Mackerel are!  Wesley and I each caught a Mackerel.


After helping us with our fishing rods and bait and releasing fish all day…Jeff finally did a little fishing of his own.  And he reeled in this lovely branch! 


This is a well known fish, a Catfish.  We had many all day.  Wesley caught the largest and the most. 



Oh, and what is this out in the middle of the Everglades?  I called it “Relief!”  We actually sat on the dock here and had lunch.  Except for Wesley.  Here he took the title “Captain Catfish” from Kenny.  He reeled in fish after fish!  Fifteen, mostly catfish and a few Jack!


And this is Wally, catching some z-z-z’s!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Everglades-Mangrove Trees

I guess this may be a bit strange to share, but I was so intrigued with these trees that make up the Everglades.  The Mangrove trees.  They are a native of Florida and it is estimated that they cover 469,000 acres of coastline.  (Thank you Google!)





The day we went out with Jeff, we covered 66 miles of shoreline.  We were on the ocean as well as the Gulf of Mexico.  Wally and I had both been picturing the Everglades as a huge swamp land…like we saw on “Gentle Ben” years ago.  The swamps and marshes do exist, but most of the Everglades is quite different. We enjoyed the many, many canals and waterways.  Some are man made to help with the flooding of water, and many are natural.  Although Jeff has a lot of knowledge of the Everglades, he also has a handy GPS.  It helped me have perspective of this water world. 

This top screen shows a close up of all the waterways we were in.  The white is the water.


This bottom screen shows the tip of Florida, just upside down!  The line just above and veering to the right are the Florida Keys. (Not really Florida, according to Jeff) Smile Kind of helps, doesn’t it?


The trees drop pods that contain seeds into the water.  They get swept hither and yon with the tide but when they eventually land in the soft soil they quickly take root. The root system survives the salty and brackish water and protects the shore line.  They grow above the water to take in oxygen.





I read many interesting things about the Mangroves.  They are an important part of the eco system and those who study it are amazed at how the Mangroves have “adapted” to this or “adapted to that.  I too am amazed…at my wonderful God Who designed all of creation, including these trees along the tropical shore lines!







Yep, it’s a lot of pictures of twisty trees…and I have one or two that I did not include. But, like I said, I was intrigued!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Everglades - Critters

Thursday afternoon  Wally, Wesley and I boarded a plane for Florida.  Kenny and Becky have been living in Pembroke Pines for a little over a year now and I was anxious to see their new stomping grounds.  Ben and Andrea drove down from New York and and Wally’s Mom joined us from Oklahoma.  We are all set for a family get together in the Florida Keys. 
I don’t know what it is about flying to the east, but  somehow something always gets hung up with the plane and we are late.  So our 10:30 p.m. arrival turned into  an 11:45 p.m. arrival.  And then the wait for baggage began.  That would not be so bad except that we were meeting a boat at 6:30 in the morning for a day in the Everglades.  So we had to get up at 4:30 a.m.   I was so-o-o tired!  When we got up I told Wally that I was not going to make it through the day and that I almost dreaded going.  But God gave us such a wonderful day.  I  truly completely enjoyed the day!!
Jeff Hanson, a friend of Kenny’s from his church, took us out on his boat and shared his love for fishing and the Everglades.  He grew up in north Miami and started coming to the Everglades as a young boy.  He said he remembers driving through the park with his grandpa when the roads were still dirt and they had to stop and winch the boat over ruts to get down to the water.  Now that’s a love for fishing, to go through all that to reach the water!!
We met up with Jeff at the Visitor Center of the Everglades national Park,  then drove another 40 miles through the park to reach  Pelican Bay where we put the boat into the water.  Then we were off on our Everglades outing!  Right away we saw birds. Pelicans.  Lots of brown pelicans.  In the tree tops.  I was made fun of for taking so many pictures of the birds, but I did it any way!  This post is almost all critters of one kind or another which we saw in the Everglades.  Here are those tree top Pelicans~
And a tree top full of white egrets~
These are some Spoonbills and some sand birds.  Do you know why flamingos are pink?  They get that way from eating shrimp.  The Spoonbills are the same.  Only something in the eco system had displaced the shrimp that they like to eat.  Jeff said it was good to see the Spoonbills turning pink again because it means the shrimp are making a come back.
I’m not really sure what this bird is…a pink-billed flamingo-egret, perhaps???  Or another egret?  I should have listened to the guide better.  But I think I was busy snapping pictures!
At the end of the day as we turned down the last waterway toward the boat docks, we saw this awesome bird swoop into a tree, an Osprey.
We also saw plenty wildlife that was in the water.  Besides knowing multiple kinds of fish, Jeff seemed to know the places where the big crocs hung out.  He told us this is the only spot in the world where the crocodiles and alligators swim in the same water.  We saw the crocodiles at a couple of different spots.  This big guy turned and showed his teeth before sliding into the water.
We also had many porpoise sightings…so much friendlier than the scaley guy above!
                                IMG_8910        20140404_161531
When we docked the boat at the end of the day we got a kick out of watching these guys~

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Spring Things

Last week I was all inspired and impatient to enjoy spring.  We had enjoyed some lovely warm days and I kept noticing the signs of spring in my flowerbed which we put in last year.  My primrose had come back for the second year.  In the fall I had put in lots of tulip, daffodil, and hyacinth bulbs. The daffodils were springing up and the hyacinth were poking through! 



I asked Wally to get my wheel barrow out and I picked up some pansies and planted them.  



Then, of course, we had spring showers, Colorado style!  Several inches of it!


Sadie did not seem to mind as much as I did.




I’m glad I’m heading out to Florida.  Maybe when I return, spring will be here to stay!


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