Florida Day Two: A Short Afternoon Hike Around The Miccosuckee Casino And Resort Grounds

Florida Day Two: A Short Afternoon Hike Around The Miccosuckee Casino And Resort Grounds

Florida Day2 afternoon (26 of 30)
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It was late Thursday afternoon during my stay at the Miccosuckee Casino and Resort in  southwestern Miami.  The resort is owned and operated by the Miccosuckee Native American tribe and is at the edge of the Everglades on Route 41. I had hiked five miles on the Shark Valley Trail in the Everglades National Park earlier in the day. I didn’t want to drive back to the  Everglades National Park but wanted to get one more hike in so I decided to explore the grounds around the hotel.

It was windy and overcast when I walked out past the parking lots. I saw a trail from the hotel room window and decided I would follow it. I didn’t expect to see much wildlife but you never know what you will find if you walk and keep your eyes peeled.

I found the trail which I immediately knew, when I saw the tower, was an access trail to a telephone cell tower. I began my hike on the trail and saw some pretty, but invasive, common lantana flowers.

There were wetlands along both sides of the trail and I also saw these plants, which according to my iPhone app are native bluestem grass seed heads.

A few cabbage palms grew along the trail. 

I saw a few egrets fly out of the wetlands as I approached but to fast for me to get a photo. I followed the trail into a woodland,

of mainly bald cypress trees.

Here I was surprised to see a few different species of butterflies including Julia butterflies,

and zebra longwing butterflies. There were a few other species I couldn’t identify or photograph

I also saw a few Halloween pennant dragonflies in the woodlands and along the trail. 

Southern wood ferns grew under the cypress trees.

The access ended at the tower so I hiked back to the hotel, looking out to the  vast expanse of grass in the Everglades.

As I neared the hotel,

I  was surprised and delighted to see this northern mockingbird perched in a tree. These birds always remind me of my dad who loved listening to their song.

I also saw a few boat tailed grackles in the trees near the parking lots.

I followed another trail at the end of the parking lot. It took me through some more wetlands but ended with a gate across the path.

I was  walking back to the hotel and was surprised,  again,  when a mocking bird, I don’t know if it was the same one,  flew from a tree and landed on the rear of a truck right next to me.

I was as if it was looking at me,

and did not mind my presence. I had a feeling my dad had something to do with it.

After watching  the mockingbird, and thinking of my dad, I finished my short mile hike .It wasn’t far but it was an enjoyable walk.

I was surprised sed to have seen a the insect and birds. so close to the hotel.  As I often say you don’t have to go to exotic far away places to enjoy the beauty of nature. You can find it anywhere including a hotel parking lot or your own back yard,  Like my dad would tell us when we walked in the woods just  keep your eyes peeled. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photos from my hike around the Miccosuckee  Casino and Resort.

It was now late afternoon, and as usual I was hungry Some of the employees at the hotel recommended Las Islas Canarias a nearby Cuban restaurant.  It was only five mile away but took twenty minutes to get there in the heavy rush hour traffic.  The drive was worth it. I was served a delicious gourmet Cuban meal, starting with fish croquetas,

with a seafood creole  with  white rice and yucca. It was some of the best Cuban food I ever had.

Of course I had chocolate ice cream for dessert. It was a great place to eat and a great way to end another day in the Sunshine State,

One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.”– Luciano Pavarotti

 

 

 

 

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