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~

1 comment:

A Joyful Chaos said...

We used to dream of visiting the Everglades.

Thanks for sharing those lovely pictures so I can at least visit virtually. :)



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