Saturday, February 20, 2016

Farther into the Everglades

I did stay back at Monument Lake Campground in the Big Cypress where I have been the past 2 nights, so after my visit to Shark Valley I decided to have an easy afternoon, so Casey and I went back and I wrote out some post cards I purchased at the Miccosukee Indian General Store the later we drove to the post office to mail them! Yes there is a post office in the Big Cypress Preserve.  

And it just happens to be the smallest US post Office in the nation!! Ochopee zip 34141. 

My post cards should have the famous Ochopee post mark!

On the way past Shark Valley to the rest of the Everglades via roads you must pass through 2 towns...Homestead and Florida City.  Many of the visitors wanted to do an airboat ride I'm not really into that kind of thing...there are numerous places to do the airboat rides along this road, Hwy 41 the Tamiami Trail , I like to just go at my own pace.  

And you have to stop at Robert is Here! Its a fun fruit and veggie market.  All kinds of seasonal foods, and some imported stuff too...

I got a very sweet mango, and Robert himself cut it up for me! I got a couple tomatoes too.  Its def a fun stop.  I was very tempted to get one of these coconut heads...

The coco frio is like a chilled drink, they bore a hole for you and you turn that baby up and enjoy a fresh chilled coconut milk!  So Shark Valley is really way over by the boundary of Big Cypress..I suggest you look at the Everglades Map, and you see how its laid out there are only a few roads...Then its a bit of a drive to get to the rest of the park.  I took hwy 9336 out of Homestead and the first thing in the park is the Ernest Coe visitors Center.  The Coe V.C. is nice and I got my passport stamped with the Centinnel stamp the NPS is 100 years old this year and the Everglades Stamp also.  They have a nice but small Gift shop My next stop was the Anhinga trail which is a short boardwalk.  

The water was very clear and blue here..lots of lily pads with longggg stems you can see right down to the bottom where the stems are rooted.  

One great thing I saw on the anhinga trail was this purple gallinule he was walking around on these big pads on top of the water...

Only saw the one tho...and just off the boardwalk was yet another alligator! He was being bothered by  people wanting selfies with an alligator...I really did NOT like that.  If the gator should decide to strike out HE would pay the price for these stupid tourists.  Some got much closer than this fellow and some crouched down low in order to get the gator right behind them...I gave the crowd and the gator a wide berth..

Here is a zoom on this gator he was very alert...

On the Gumbo Limbo trail I found this really tall palm could be a royal palm so many kinds of Palm and I did not pay good attention to the names...

And here is a cool web in just the right light...

My next stop was at the Pa hay okee boardwalk...A beautiful overlook of the saw grass marsh.

I met these 3 Britts with some really awesome lenses, They had no tripods so holding them steady was a challenge...

we all had a good laugh about it, including them, they were breathless with the effort...a good AB workout Im sure!  And what were we all trying to photo--- This Great blue heron in the we see how the camo of his feathers work.  

Then  I stopped at the Dwarf Cypress forest...

4 ft above sea 

I really liked the huge leathery ferns..look how BIG!

Saw more gray catbirds...

I finally made it down to the Flamingo Visitors Center and the campground where I would stay for 2 nights...
There is a marina and a beach but its a muddy kind of beach (found out the hard way) not the sandy kind you enjoy a walk on...and the Florida Bay. 

There was a huge flock of Black Skimmers here...

they would flush and then return over and over...can never get enough of these colorful birds!  

and lots of Laughing Gulls on the the marina

In the visitors center a board to write sightings..

Couple of things listed there I can def check on!! More in next post..

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.


  1. Its crazy to turn your back the alligator as I bet they strike fast. I often wonder if people like these really understand wildlife when they see it in parks etc. Do they think the animals are tame.

    1. They are extremely fast and as I showed in my zoomed in photo that gator was wide eyed alert! I do not do selfies so I don't need my subject matter to be behind me...TG- BUT I swear I saw more people taking selfies than normal photography. I do appreciate the technology that allows a phone to also be many more things but it has become an annoyance in public situations. It was circulated around Facebook this past week a group of people on a beach in Argentina found a baby dolphin and they kept it out of the water so long taking selfies with it, that it died!
      Simply put a massive number of the Earth's population are STUPID idiots!

  2. You are a traveler and a nature photographer and a citizen scientist. We welcome you! Those idiots with the alligator are the ugliest of tourists ... I have a hard time holding my tongue around that type ... Bill just gently steers me away as quickly as he can ..,like you, I worry way more about the gators.

    Boy those places and birds look mighty familiar! Except, again and as usual your pics are better.

    1. Thank you kindly...see above comment reply, it is becoming an epidemic this stupidity thing!!

  3. Really nice, and those photos tell a special story.

  4. Another great post with excellant pictures.
    Tourist aren't the only fools, A few years ago someone came to my place in the mountains to tell me about a bear in the tree a few streets away. I grabbed my camera and was mortified to see all these little kids standing around the base of the tree and the parents too. I never got out of the car but took a few shots. Finally a ranger came and started yelling at these stupid people to get there kids out of there and in the house.

    Anyway your birds are beautiful, post office is a hoot and the coconut dolls are to cute.

    1. I agree people forget the danger they put themselves and the animals in when they get too close like the Moose in Yellowstone and the Buffalo. People were walking up into the woods to get a closer look at a huge bull moose when I was at Yellowstone long ago.

    2. But I have to add if a wild animal was in trouble and needed help I would do whatever I could to any risk....that's just the way I am.

  5. I love that post office and the story. You stopped at the Ghost Forest -- going in the light was beautiful but we wanted to get to Flamingo so we said 'we'll stop on the way back'. Wrong. It was not good when we came out. So thank you for the photo. And we've never stopped at Robert's . Now I want to go back right now just for that. (Well, not just for that of course, but definitely a stop next time.) Love the post, love the pics (and am trying not to be too envious of them.)

    1. I enjoyed the stop at Roberts some nice produce for sure. I take lots of photos in order to get a least one good one to share...and sometimes I takes lots of Bad ones--I am always forgetting to change the dial on my camera from one setting to the other I miss a lot of good stuff that way!! That's why I would be wasting my money to invest in gear like those guys had.


Comments are appreciated, and reciprocated!