The Everglades

Early December 1997, I flew down south to visit my brother and his family. They've recently moved to the outskirts of Tampa, Florida after several years of living in Winthrop, Massachusetts.

I had a great week visiting. One highlight was the trip Terry and I took down to the Everglades. We took an airboat tour of the 'Glades (or portion thereof), with a particular eye to the wildlife.

As we were the only two passengers on the airboat, the tour guide decided to have a lot of fun. We got rather close to this specimen, although the sun refused to cooperate with my camera.

swimming aligator in the sun

Evidently, there are aligators all over the place down in Florida. I doubt they need leash laws -- aligators enforce their own.

In a more prosaic vein, we also saw the following family of raccoons while spinning about in the airboat. Our tour guide encouraged their approach with a well-placed marshmallow or two.

raccoons enter the water raccoons approach the airboat

There are a lot of birds which make their home in the Everglades. We saw osprey, blue heron, and a type of duck, among other fowl.

It's a real flat marshy land down at the lower regions of Florida. Well, most of Florida seems to be flat, but down here the marshy characteristics come clear. Different regions, however, seem to support different forms of vegetation. We passed through mangrove islands as well as through grasslands.

After the airboat trip, we took a recommended drive in the region, looking at birds and aligators.

wetlands galore

Grasslands, with trees beyond the water. Find the bird hanging out to dry on a stick. These guys were all up and down this track. I'll update this page with the bird's name as soon as I find out.

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