Sava is out of the water or “on the hard” in boat jargon. We’re living on her while she is on land getting her hull painted. So while we are on dry land, we’ve rented cars and explored southern Florida. The latest was a trip to the Everglades.
About The Everglades
Wow. I can’t believe we waited to visit this amazing park. The Everglades is a national park, which is fortunately still open despite the government shutdown. It is a huge park, covering 1.5 million acres of the tip of southern mainland Florida. The Everglades’ marshes, mangroves, and flatlands are home to many different species, common and endangered. If you want to see crocs and gators, turtles and birds in Florida, this is a good place to go! It’s possible to see manatees but better to go to the best places to see wild manatees in Florida.
Alligators in The Everglades
Within seconds of entering the grounds we saw beautiful birds and alligators. The proximity to these animals was incredible. We took lots of photos and loved every minute we spent there. You can go on tram rides or rent bicycles at this section of the park. We chose to walk along the trail, eavesdropping on a tour group once in a while as we strolled along snapping photos and admiring the animals.
We learned so much about the alligators, which were everywhere! You had to look where you were going on the path because they were lying on the path, on the grass and in the water! We really didn’t want to step on an alligator because that would really change your trip to The Everglades!
We learned that the bumps on alligators are their bones, called scutes. These scutes are very strong, almost impenetrable. And here I just thought they were bumps.
Birds in The Everglades
We saw loads of birds in the Everglades, including lots of herons. The biggest heron, the great blue heron, were quite common. We also spotted a few of the smallest heron, the green heron.
The birds were flying, resting and fishing. We got to see one swimming with its prize and we witnessed a couple of anhinga birds mating. They were doing that for a while. We went out halfway down the trail and came back and they were still mating. I liked how their feathers got very ruffled with excitement (I imagine).
These photos and videos were only taken with my cellphone but we were amazed how close we were able to get to these beautiful creatures. Not just the gators but many of the birds flew close to the path and all the people. Breathtaking.
Other Animals in The Everglades
We also saw snakes, turtles, butterflies and fish.
You might see but we didn’t see the otters, panthers or manatees. Maybe you’ll have better luck, although seeing a panther might be scary.
We visited the Everglades at the closest entrance to Miami, just over an hour away, Shark Valley, but there are several entrances from all sides of this massive parkland.
It was a beautiful experience and I am glad we went. I don’t know why we waited so long to make the easy trip to the Florida Everglades. Have you ever been? What did we miss?