Florida Day Two Everglades February 13 2022: A Rainy Day In South Florida
I fell asleep my first night in Florida thinking the next day would be a washout. Rain was in the forecast for most of the day. The chance of rain was 100%. I was planning on hiking on a segment of the Southern Glades Trail and thought I would have to postpone my hike. When I awoke at 6 a.m. the Weather app on my iPhone had the rain starting a 7 a.m. I checked the local radar and it looked to me it wouldn’t start until 8 a.m. So I left my hotel in Florida City and drove the 6 miles to the trailhead located on Route 9336 a few miles before the entrance to the Everglades National Park. .
This trail follows a canal that eventually meets the Aerojet canal in about three miles. The trail continues for 13 miles and eventually reaches the Manatee Bay. The skies were overcast and threatening when I arrived. It was a sultry 72 degrees.
But it looked like the rain would hold off for awhile so I began my hike on the trail. After walking a short distance a large flock of American white ibises flew overhead,
and were landing in a large tree on the other side of the canal.
More and more of the birds landed in the tree.
and making quite a lot of noise as I walked past.
The ibises began flying from the tree and onto a nearby field. I decided to walk over and investigate and found dozen of the ibises feeding on piles of rotting tomatoes. I am not sure why the tomatoes were there but I learned ibises love tomatoes.
And as the birds would have their fill of tomatoes they would fly over to a nearby flooded field and drink. It was an interesting sight to see.
I left the ibises to continue their feast and walked back to the trail. The skies were getting darker to the south as the clouds increased.
A few flower brightened up the dark and somber scene including the common hairy beggarticks,
the pretty blue dawn flowers still wet from the rains that fell overnight.
I also saw these these unusual leaves. They are castor bean leaves,
They skies continued to darken and I knew the rain was coming. So I quickly walked back to my rental SUV.
On the way I only saw two critters, this turkey buzzard perched on a tree branch,
The rains did come and luckily I was near my SUV when they started. Here is a link to a gallery on my blog website with some more photos from my hike. Florida Day Two: Southern Glades Trail February 13 2022.
They continued most of the day. I was stuck in my hotel room but I used my time to edit photos and work on my blog. The rains stopped late in the afternoon. A friend from home was visiting his brother in Key Largo and stopped up to visit. He was never at the Royal Palm visitor center in the Everglades National Park so we drove over to hike on the Anhinga and Gumbo -limbo trails.
I was hoping to show him an alligator even though I only saw three on my previous visit on Saturday afternoon. It was partly cloudy when we arrived and unlike Saturday, it wasn’t very crowded. It was Super Bowl Sunday which could explain the lack of visitors.
We walked the boardwalks looking for alligators and other critters. Like my visit on Saturday there wasn’t much wildlife activity.
There were a few purple gallinules striding over the pond lilies
and I think this was the same crow I saw the day before.
I did notice this pretty flower blooming on a tree along the trail.
On closer observation I realized it was not growing from the ground. It was a giant airplant.
This beautiful plant does not receive nourishment from the soil. They are now endangered in Florida. As always, I learn something new on my visits to the Everglades.
I also saw this mushroom growing on a log along the trail.
We continued our hike and saw no anhinga on the Anhinga Trail, only a few double crested cormorants and
Not a single alligator either. We didn’t see a one. We were both disappointed. Again, I believe it is the high water levels in the Everglades that have kept them dispersed and out of the Anhinga Trail area. We took a quick walk along the Gumbo-limbo trail. I pointed out the gumbo-limbo tress growing along the trail.
Again there was little wildlife, only a very common Northern cardinal. It was still a nice hike.
We would encounter a few more critters. Black vultures attacked the rubber on my SUV. They are nasty critter. lol It was a nice hike and we headed back into Florida City and had a nice dinner at the Farmers Market. We had planned to head to a bar and watch the first half of the Super Bowl. But we are old. We both decided to call it a night. I returned to my room to edit photos. I had the Super Bowl on but hardly paid attention. My team, the Philadelphia Eagles wasn’t playing, so I was rooting for the Bengals and they lost. I fell asleep, excited to explore some more of South Florida early the next morning. Here is a link to some more photographs from my afternoon hike on the Anhinga trail in the Everglades National Park. Florida Day Two afternoon hike. February 13 2022.
“A person should always be willing to adjust for a rainy day. That was a good attitude in all of life, but was a reality to the way of life for those residing in Florida.”