The Everglades

On Monday, February 3, 2020, we drove to the town of Flamingo at the south end of the Florida peninsula. The campground at Flamingo in Everglades National Park (“EVER”) has sites that are nicely spread apart, therefore private. It was as rustic a place as we had been, with no light pollution. No hot water for the showers, but hey, we are camping. There are numerous pairs of osprey nesting throughout EVER. The first pair is right in the tenting portion of the campground.

One parent leaving the nest – to fish?
Or to watch the humans from a different vantage point.

It was so hot that we used the windshield reflective shields for the first time. We spent the next day hiking around the national park. The park had been hit by a hurricane several years before and the headquarters are closed; apparently there is no funding to replace the buildings at this time.

Second nesting pair
Third pair
Fourth nesting pair

There are both alligators and crocodiles at EVER, the only area in the world where the two related species cohabitate. The people in the canoe above were told to back off!

The little alligators spend most of their time trying to avoid being eaten.
There are manatees in the same area as the crocodiles.
Feeding
There are two chicks.
See two little heads?
This croc is estimated by the rangers to be over 13 feet long.
He can relax in the sun without worrying about being eaten.
Sunset over the Everglades.

On our third day at EVER we took the Backwater Boat Tour up the canal to Coot Lake. We saw numerous crocodiles, birds, air plants, and mahogany trees.

Back Water Cruise boat
This is a man-made canal, therefore it can be kept open. Other areas are left natural.
Coot Lake
This guy wasn’t going to be eaten without biting back.
Is that a smile?

Next we will head into the Florida Keys.

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