Florida Day Eight: My First Stay In The Everglade At The New Flamingo Lodge

Florida Day Eight: My First Stay In The Everglade At The New Flamingo Lodge

Florida Day Eight Flamingo lodge (45 of 50)
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After my lunch at the Farmers Market in Florida City I was on my way to Flamingo. the southern most location in the Everglades National Park. I was excited. I have visited Flamingo many times. I love this remote part of the Everglades. This time. however,  I was staying overnight at the new Flamingo Lodge that just opened last November. It was the reason I was here this late in March. These two days were the only days available when I booked my stay in late January.

It was about 50 miles to the lodge. I always enjoy my drive through the Everglades National Park. There is only one main road from the entrance to Flamingo. It takes you through all of the different habitats in the everglades. My favorite is the cypress forest where I have watched many sunrises. It was around 1 p.m. when I began my one hour drive. I  often see wildlife on my drive to Flamingo but that is early in the morning.

There wasn’t much wildlife activity  in the mid day heat so I decided to stop in the Mahogany Hammock to see if there was anything happening in the shade of  large trees there.

A hammock is an area of higher elevation in the river of grass and water that is the Everglades. Large hardwood trees grow here and provide a habitat for many different species of wildlife.

I walked on the boardwalk into the hammock. under the large trees,

and along the many species of ferns. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much wildlife here either.

I only saw a few spiders,

 brown anole lizards, and

this  great egret wading in the waters at the edge of the hammock.

I left the hammock and continued my drive to Flamingo., stopping at the Mrazek Pond to take a look for some wildlife. There was nothing around in the mid-day sun and heat. I often see water fowl here on my early drives to Flamingo including wood storks and roseate spoonbills.  Here is a link to a gallery with some more photos from my drive to Flamingo. Florida Day Eight: Flamingo drive. March 27 2024.

I arrived at the Flamingo Lodge around 2;30. I hoped my room would be available but it wasn’t. This is never an issue for me since i can always use down time to edit photos, work on my blog or check  in with my law office back home. I did all three until 4 p.m. when my room was available. I was excited. I had wanted to stay in  Flamingo since the first time I visited this remote part of Florida.

The room was much nicer than I expected. It had a stove, microwave, dishes and utensils, items I wouldn’t use but would be great for a family or  couple. And I loved the view of the Florida Bay from my bed and balcony. It was going to be a great two night stay.

And night time  was about the only time I  thought I would be spending in my room. I was soon outside walking along the Guy Bradley Trail along the shore of the Florida Bay.  The trail is named after a Florida game warden who was murdered protecting the  herons in the Everglades from poachers selling their feathers for hats. I have walked this trail before and have seen beautiful sunrises here.

The trail is right between the Flamingo  Lodge and the shore.

I walked through the mangrove trees along the bay, enjoying the beautiful views.

I walked about  3/4 of a mile to the amphitheater for the campground.  A park ranger was giving a presentation on history of Flamingo and I stopped and listened for a few minutes.

I headed back on the trail to the marina where I hoped I would see the family of osprey that nest there. On the way I saw a few insects including a gulf fritillary butterfly,

a Needham’s dragonfly.

a lot of brown anole lizards,

and a shell from a horseshoe crab. 

I also found a lot of these knicker beans or  knicker nuts, sea beans or fever nuts.

These seeds are produced  in pods on vine like shrubs that grow along the mangrove swamps in south Florida. The pods have sharp spines so you have to be careful if you try and gather them. I love finding them

I continued on the trail toward the marina, stopping at the memorial to Guy Bradley located near the new Visitor Center that bears his name.

I walked along the marina, looking for the alligators, manatees and crocodiles I have seen here before.

They weren’t around but there were, as there always is, a lot of laughing seagulls.

I hoped the osprey family was still there, and I soon knew it was when I heard the louds calls of these two juvenile ospreys.

They were flapping there wings and appeared to be ready to leave the nest soon. I watched them for a while and soon mom returned, without any food, she only had some grass for the nest,

much to the disappointment of her offspring.    Here is a gallery on my blog website with some more photos of the osprey. Florida Day Eight: Flamingo osprey March 27 2024.

I enjoyed watching this beautiful birds but it was now late afternoon and I was getting hungry.  So I finished my two mile hike and headed to my only choice for food for the next two days. I was hoping it would be okay. I was surprised and delighted when I tried my conch chowder, it was delicious,

as was the mahi mahi wrap and black bean salad, I was full and happy .Here is a gallery with some more photos from my hikes in Flamingo.  Florida Day Eight Flamingo March 27 2024.

After my surprisingly good dinner I returned to my room with a view but didn’t stay long. My evening exploring Flamingo and the southern Everglades wasn’t over. I drove about a 1/2 mile to the Eco Pond.

This small pond near the camp grounds  almost always had a wide variety of  birds when I visited in the early morning.

Clouds moved in as a walked around the pond.

There wasn’t much wildlife or bird activity in the evening, I only saw a few brown anole lizards

and a few white pelicans. It was still a nice hike.

I drove through the camp grounds,

and into the abandoned camping area. I often imagined the folks spending the  night in this remote part of the Everglades. I am sure many good memories were made here sitting around a camp fire and listening to the sounds of the Everglades at night.

I returned to the lodge and hoped to see a sunset, but clouds moved in obscuring the sun.

I still took one more walk to the bay and enjoyed the solitude and sounds of  waves on the shore. It was a great way to end the day. I returned to my room, retiring early but setting my alarm for midnight  to check out the night skies and listen to the sounds of the night in the Everglades.  Here is a link to a gallery with some more photos from my visit to the Eco Pond. Florida Day Eight Eco Pond March 27 2024.

I was soon asleep and back up to the sound of Bruce Springsteen’s No Retreat No Surrender, on my iPhone alarm. I got up and went outside. There were no stars, clouds moved in, and strong winds.  I didn’t know it them but these were an omen of things to come. I feel back asleep looking forward to my morning hikes in this remote and beautiful part of  the Everglades and our  Country.

“We have the most beautiful planet – the Rockies, the purple fields of the United States, the Lake District, the Pyrenees, the turquoise seas of the tropics.” ~ Dan Aykroyd

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