Florida Day Four: Everglades National Park: A Quick Hike on the Old Ingraham Trail Before The Rains Started Again.

Florida Day Four: Everglades National Park: A Quick Hike on the Old Ingraham Trail Before The Rains Started Again.

Florida Day 4 Everades Royal Palm Old Ingraham (7 of 29)
Previous Post
Next Post

There  were no tornados overnight on  Friday  during my recent trip to South Florida.  I went to sleep in Florida City with tornado warnings on  my iPhone. There  were, however,  severe thunderstorms, heavy rains and flooding.   I was staying  here on my visit to the Everglades National Park. The rain had  stopped when I awoke at 6:30 a.m. Saturday.  However, the forecast called for more rain, and thunderstorms . The local radar showed rain starting   again around 9 a.m. I decided to drive to the Everglades National Park and hike on the Old Ingraham Highway trail before the rains came . I drove the 15 miles to  the Royal Palm Visitor Center,

and took a dirt road to the Old Ingraham Highway.

 The Old Ingraham Highway Trail.  was built in 1922 to travel to Flamingo at the southernmost  point of the Everglades. It  was abandoned when the new road to Flamingo was built  in the 1960’s.  I first hiked this remote  trail three years ago and I loved it. The highway  diverted the natural flow of the “river of grass” that is the Everglades.  The National Park service was doing  a large scale construction project to restore  the flow of the water. .  I was disappointed when I visited the Everglades and found the trail was  closed for this  major remedial construction last year. I was glad to see the construction was complete and the trail was open again when I arrived.

The sun was rising over the marsh along the trail as I began my hike.

The rising sun created some pretty scenery with the storm clouds  over the marsh on,

and on large expanse of cattails on the western side of the trail.

And as always, there were many water fowl in the marshes.  AS soon as I left my vehicle I saw a  family of American white ibises  feeding in the marsh in the rays of the rising sun,

This is the mother,

and this one of the juveniles.

A tri-colored heron flew overhead,

There were large flocks of blue-winged teal on the marshes and hundreds would fly off as I walked along the trail.

I continued my hike enjoying the many birds I was seeing in the golden sunlight but  I was also hearing the rumble of thunder in the distance.

The thunder had me  walk quickly on the trail, trying to see as much as possible before the rains came.  I saw   this American coot swimming near the trail,  

 once again, I saw  a bird that reminds me of my dad,  a northern mockingbird. It  seems I see them everywhere I hike. on my travels  My dad loved their song and shortly after he died I saw them singing at many places I associated with dad. I always feel they are a reminder that dad is always with me.

In addition to the birds I also saw hundreds of Halloween pennant dragonflies darting above the waters along the trail.

This dragonfly wasn’t darting any more, it was trapped in a spider web.

I continued my walked as the golden morning sunshine created beautiful scenery along the trail.

I saw so many more birds,   hundreds of  the blue winged teals continued to fly off the marshes and also I saw large flocks of American coots. I was walking at a fast past since the rumbles of thunder got louder, but I still noticed some of the flowers blooming along the trail,  there were pickerelweed flowers in the waters , I think this is yellow or swamp thistle and

beautiful morning glory flowers blooming along the trail.

There was a family of wood storks who did not seem to mind me walk near them as the waded in the marsh.

I only walked out about a mile. The rumble of  thunder was getting louder and the flashes of lightning in the dark clouds was more frequent.  I walked back quickly but not before a brief downpour  got me soaked. However it stopped raining when I was back at my SUV. The clouds were  still threatening so I stayed near my vehicle 

I saw  a lot more birds. Male red winged black birds,

and boat tailed grackles   sang their  harsh songs in the cattails.

And I saw a few more  American white ibises in the waters. 

This black necked stilt,

waded on the water on it’s stilt like legs,

while an osprey flew overhead.

And I was excited to see  this juvenile bald eagle feeding on the frondless trunk of a royal palm tree.

I approached the beautiful bird and it  as it stared at me from atop it’s high perch. Unfortunately the rains started to fall again and I was again caught in a torrential downpour before I could get to my vehicle. This ended  another wonderful morning hike in the Everglades.  Here is a link to a gallery with some more photos of the birds I saw on my hike. Florida Day Four: Everglades:  Old Ingraham Highway birds March 22 2024

I was glad I decided to drive to Royal Palm and get in this quick 3 mile hike.  Once again I was able to see and share the beauty of the Florida Everglades.   Here is a link to a gallery with some more photos  from my hike and the beautiful sunrise. Florida Day Four: Everglades:  Old Ingraham Highway birds March 22 2024

The rains continued and the roads flooded on my drive back to Florida City. I headed back to my hotel  and had a basic  hotel breakfast before returning to my room.  I spent the day  listening to the rain and thunderstorms.   They  continued all day.  I also edited  photos worked on my  blog  and checked  in with my office. I was a little disappointed with the rains but it is the Everglades and the rains are what create this unique and remarkable “river of grass” and the home it provide for so much wildlife.

The miracle of the light pours over the green and brown expanse of saw grass and of water, shining and slow-moving below, the grass and water that is the meaning and the central fact of the everglades of Florida. It is a river of grass. -Marjory Stoneman Douglas




This is my first post

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.