I was up early again on Friday, but not early enough.I thought I had enough time to get to watch the sunrise , but somehow, I was late arriving at the Everglades National park. I wanted to walk into the cypress trees to photograph the rising sun.
However, it was already peeking above the horizon before I reached my destination.
I took a few photographs from the highway and drove back to the Anhinga Trail. I saw a few of these signs on the way, but, unfortunately, I have never seen a puma in the Everglades.
There was just one couple at the Anhinga Trail when I arrived and they were leaving. I had the trail to myself.
The Everglades are so beautiful in the morning. There is so much life. These blog posts just touch the surface of the many wonderful things you observe walking along the trails.
There is the constant jumping of fish. large and small, the fluttering of butterflies, the darting of dragonflies, and lizards darting on the ground. So much life.
And there are always the birds and alligators. The anhinga were already active. Some diving for fish,
and others warming themselves in the early morning sun.
Although it was a cool morning the alligators were also out and about and enjoying the intense Florida sunshine.
I observed the many water birds flying over the ponds and wetlands of the Everglades including what I believe are snowy egrets ,
and a lot of what I think are green herons.
I enjoy watching the green herons back home at the PPL Wetlands and was glad to see so many down here.
There were also some more familiar birds such as these red bellied woodpecker.
A few cardinals and
There were also some species native to Florida such as the boat-tailed grackle.
This fellow didn’t mind me taking a close up.
I saw a trail branching off from the Gumbo limbo trail on my walk the day before. I decided to follow it.
It was a nice trail under taller trees. There was, once again, an abundance of dragonflies darting through the air. And also a lot of insects. This time I was prepared and had used repellent which did help.
I also had my first close encounter with a snake that crawled over my sneaker. It appeared to be a some type of garter or other harmless snake, I hoped anyway. There were also a lot of these snails attached to the stems of plants and trees.
I met a ranger who was on patrol in his jeep and he told me I could walk the trail out to a lake were I might find some water birds. It was about a 1 1/2 mile walk to the lake.
I didn’t see any birds on the lake but that could be due to the park workers cutting some of the trail near the lake.
I heard some birds on my walk but didn’t see many more. I did see this crow.
There were also a few wildflowers growing on the trail.
It was getting hot, and, you guessed it, I was getting hungry so I decided it was time to end my walk and head back. When I got back to the parking area I decided to take another walk on the Anhinga trail. I was glad I did. I saw a flock of one of my favorite birds the waxwing.
And I watched a pair of these birds
feeding on the fruit of a tree on the trail. My guess is they are white-eyed vireos. I will be looking to my birder friends for a positive identification. Here is a link to some more of the many birds I saw on my hike. Everglades Anhinga Trail hike April 13 2018.
There were a lot more folks on the trail now, many of them tourists from other countries. We all shared a love of nature. These areas need to be protected so future generations can enjoy them too.
I sadly left the Anhinga trail and the Everglades. I returned to my hotel. had a quick breakfast, and was on my way to Key Largo as my adventure in South Florida continued. Here is a link to some more photographs from my morning walk. Everglades Anhinga Morning walk April 13 2018.
If you truly love Nature, you will find beauty everywhere. Vincent Van Gogh