Monday, February 25, 2013

Florida Day 44

Today was the best day ever "again"!! Perry and I drove back down south to the Big Cypress National Preserve this morning to kayak thru some of the beautiful Everglades. We paddled thru the swamp for 2 hours with our naturalist guide Warren from Jackson Adventure Tours. Wonderful sightseeing and learning about the ecology of the Glades. We paddled thru Mangrove lined waterways, grassland prairies and Cypress swamps all teeming with wildlife. Our guide left us about 3 miles into the Glades with very good directions of where to paddle and how to return. He recommended GPS oops haha. Well we made it back 3 hours later so we must have some sense of direction. When we were within sight of the bridge a very large male alligator 12 feet long, appeared seemingly from nowhere and was heading straight for my kayak. We locked eyes. I started back paddling at once so as not to collide with this great beast and bang..... Perry's kayak was pushing me forward. Not knowing the peril I was experiencing he was gazing about at the alligators by the shore and unknowingly bumped me! It was not funny. I was marginally panicking and alarmed. Warren had warned us to keep a few feet away and not to agitate them. The whites of his eyes were gleaming a mere 1 foot away from the front of the kayak. I finally managed to make clear to Per that there was a gigantic gator right in front of us and we swerved around his big menacing jaws.... snapping at the bow of our boats. Crisis averted we paddled under the bridge to the safety of the boat launch. Would I do it again? ABSOLUTELY, of course I would and I will. Eco rush love it!
Mr. Alligator is that really your best side?
Great Blue Heron gracefully  perched on the top of the tree
9 am smiling and ready for an adventure
Waz up Skippy? Did you know that alligators only eat like once a month? Lucky for us they had already ate in February!!
Baby alligators still have camouflaged skins, so cute and they purr like kittens, Perry  can replicate the sound exactly.... strange but true.
The grasslands, plenty of fish jumping and skipping over the water
Pretty pink flowers blooming in the grass lands
Perry paddling thru the mangrove tunnels
Mangrove tunnels, the trees close right in and spiders spin their webs across the water
Palm tree at the picnic spot I just had to try and climb. A sliver is all I got for my efforts!!! No coconuts!!
Fishing for the Herons is in abundance in here
Mangrove roots anchoring the tree and branching out. Shelter for minnows and wildlife
Bromeliads and air plants in abundance none of which I am going to bring home .... Nope not me I won't!
Female gator sunning her self
Young gator about 3 or 4 yrs old sunning on a branch very photogenic one... just mad for the camera!
A Florida Box turtle enjoying the sun as well on this fine day
Don't look at me.... female gator with babies
Baby gator swimming away from me as I am being a pain in his ass trying to lift him up with my paddle
Water liles all thru out the waterways but they close up in the heat of the day, should have taken their pics in the am when they were all open and smiling
 A snake I had the unfortunate luck to happen upon
Many of the bromeliads were in bloom and added a bright spot of color to the glades
Beautiful herons or something like that
Baby alligator lying in the sun at the back of his mother
Cypress and mangroves along the waterways
I think I may know this one a little too intimately.....Perry!!!!!!
Young alligator 
$500 fine for feeding alligators Perry so don't tip me over
The last alligator of the day.... 
We highly highly recommend taking a tour and then venturing off on your own for a few more hours of exploration. Wonderful day with my fiance.

Relax... Respect...Enjoy... the Florida Everglades... Dorri

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