Field Trip Everglades National Park

We have gone many times to Everglades National Park, this is one of those places one can never visit too many times.  Short and beautiful, the Anhinga Trail teems with wild life, movement and wonder for those of us who get to contemplate it.

There’s the anhinga bird who catches fish with astonishing speed and precision, piercing its prey with its spear-like beak, then throws it into the air and swallows it whole.  She can stay inside the water for quite a long time before needing to come up for air, studying and stalking its future meal, surely, or perhaps just enjoying the clear water.  Then there is a myriad of schools of fish of all shapes and sizes, swimming back and forth. The little ones take comfort in the safety of large numbers.   We also got to see blue herons, turkey vultures, purple gallinules, butterflies, grasshoppers and of course alligators.  The fact that the alligators bask in the sun in amazing proximity to the trails is particularly incredible to me.  How can we get to walk so remarkable close to such a ferocious animal with it apparently oblivious to a sizable meal nearby?  Well, I guess this just shows us that the Everglades is a perfectly balanced ecosystem. If undisturbed, the plants and animals have more than enough to not only survive but thrive!

Not as colorful as the Anhinga Trail, but just as pleasant, one finds a completely different habitat at the Gumbo Limbo Trail only a few yards away from the entrance to Anhinga.  Roberto, Super Hero and I really enjoy this field trip. It was reassuring to see Super Hero interested in learning about the effects Hurricane Andrew had on the park and to hear him tell us about the habitats found at the Everglades. Not that we wanted the field trip to be a ‘lesson’ per se. However, it is such a treat to get to learn and make connections about life by experiencing it directly.

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How about you? 

Do you have a favorite spot or trail in the Everglades National Park? Or any other place that you like to enjoy nature and wild life?

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