Today we paid a visit to the Everglades. I was impressed by the unique beauty of the place. Since I'm accustomed to being closed in by mountains and ridges, the open space had a special appeal to me. It was just so different. One of my first views was of a great egret flying across the horizon. I felt like I was in some far away country like Africa. I took enough pictures of wildlife so that we will probably be busy with our nature journals for the rest of the winter! We saw cormorants, great blue herons, ibis, wood storks, egrets, anhingas, and an American kestrel along with a couple of others that I haven't identified yet. There were flowers blooming -blue-eyed grass, daisies and swamp lilies. This shot is from a tower that looks out over the glades. It was beautiful. The pictures can't do it justice.
The first place we stopped ended up being the most packed with wildlife than the whole rest of the trip combined. The kids enjoyed being able to get so close to the birds. Kezzi, our bird lover who is studying bird biology this year, experienced a rather close encounter with a bird that was perched in a tree she walked under. :)
And then there were times we were thankful for a little barrier. What are they all looking at?
This guy. This was not a zoo or park. These are just living in the wild and only a few feet away. There were many places that afforded the aligators access to the walkway. I guess they get plenty to eat because I didn't see them go after anyone.
I was hoping to see a panther since there were road signs warning of them but no such luck. Apparently sightings of them are rather rare. There was a sign saying to not let the children run ahead on the wilderness trails though, especially after dusk.
After braving the wild animals, we headed onto the Miami interstates around rush hour. Yikes! I'll take the wild animals any day. I was thankful to return to "home" safe and sound.