Everglades Trip (November 2015)

Everglades (Forever Grass) is aptly named national park in South Florida. Everglades is also referred as “River of Grass”. Kissimmee River drains into Lake Okeechobee. Lake Okeechobee is very shallow. Overflow from Lake Okeechobee in wet season creates a slow moving (1/2 mile a day) river 60 miles wide and over 100 miles long which is main part of Everglades. Waters flow across limestone shelf towards Florida Bay. There are only two seasons in Everglades, wet seasons and dry season. During wet season, May through October cause frequent flooding in the Glades. Saw grass thrives in these slow moving waters. Ironically, deep flooding may kill Saw grass as well.   Although Saw grass marshes are main feature in Everglades, there are nine eco systems exist in everglades.

We had opportunity to explore all nine eco systems in  Everglades. Even though I love to talk about each eco system in length, in the interest of keeping narrative short, I leave it by just naming them.

1. Freshwater sloughs
2. Marl prairies
3. Tropical hardwood hammocks
4. Pineland
5. Cypress Swamps
6. Mangroves
7. Coastal lowlands
8. Marine
9. Estuarine

During dry season, water levels goes to few inches. Relatively warm weather and easy fishing attracts many birds to Everglades starting from December. Ample food sources and secluded habitat promote breeding in dry season. This is the best season to visit Everglades. There is only one road that goes through Everglade National Park. East entrance near Homestead is best place to enter the park to explore by road. However there are two other entrances to the park, where you can rent boat or kayak or take air boat ride to explore this fascinating preserve.  Most of my  images are freshwater marshes and Mangroves.

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  • Top:  Great White Egret
  • Left:  Great Blue Heron
  • Right: Anhinga

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Little Blue HeronIMG_2264_web

American Black VultureIMG_2491_web

Turkey VultureIMG_2571_web

Wood Stork

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American White IbisIMG_2688_web

American AlligatorIMG_2513_web

American Alligator is the only wild alligator species left in the world. The only other alligator species that still exist is Chinese alligator. Chinese alligators are critically endangered and only known to exit in captivity. Although American alligators were at the verge of extinction in past, they are fully recovered and thriving around Gulf of Mexico now. Unfortunately, there are 20 other species in the park still listed as endangered including West Indian Manatee and Florida Panther.

Happy Clicking

Swamy

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