Saturday, January 7, 2017

The Everglades

Tom and I were completely entranced by the Everglades. We had made reservations for 14 nights in the Flamingo camping area thinking we could leave early if we didn't find enough to do. Silly us! We actually added 3 more days to our stay and enjoyed them in the Long Pine Key campground.

I couldn't believe we could get so close to this nesting pair of osprey.

A real, live, wild, crocodile.

Marina bay

More croc!

I love the pink buildings!

Ranger Tim gave our Croc Talk. He was great!

This guy had lost part of his jaw about two years ago and is still living and doing well.

A young croc swimming.
 The National Parks as part of its wildfire management policy, conducts prescribed fires. We were fortunate to see this policy in action.The burn took place in beginning of our time in the park. We were able to watch the new shoots develop in the wake of the fire in the following days.
Despite the signs, people stopped at the Visitor Center to be sure the rangers knew there was a fire in the park.
Flames in the grass.

Smoke drifts across the park gate.

Smoke on the horizon.

Me with the Florida panther statue.

Tom with a Florida panther statue.

First time I had to worry about a cat crossing.

So beautiful

We got a little dizzy here. *joke*

The water in front of the Visitor Center at Flamingo.

Flamingo Visitor Center
 We really enjoyed our walk on the Mahogany Hammock Trail. The change from grassland to jungle-like forest was striking. Just a small change in elevation made for an entirely different biome.

Another guided talk that Tom especially enjoyed was to the Nike Missile base on the park grounds. I spent most of my time trying to not be too afraid of the rattlesnake and pygmy rattlesnakes they had warned us we may see.
Our guide

The company flag.

Graffiti, this is a mosquito.

The missile.

That is quite a warning.

More in the next post. Time for alligators to go with our crocodiles.

Ferry from Carolina Beach

To shorten our trip south from Carolina Beach, NC to Clermont, FL, we took the Ft. Fisher-Southport Ferry. It was an exciting way for the two of us landlubbers to travel. I hope you enjoy the pictures. The ride took about 35 minutes and we enjoyed every one of them.

Driving on to the ferry

GPS knew where we were.

Camper and truck on the ferry

Camper looks pretty small in this shot

Passing tug and barge

Tom and I on ferry


Crow catching a ride on the rack of a van on the ferry

Loading up at the other end

Yep, the camper remembered to follow us off.

Christmas tree on the other side.

On dry land and headed south.