Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Everglades National Park

What an exciting spring break trip we've had. In addition to collecting shells and building sand castles at Fort Myers Beach, we took an amazing trip into the Everglades National Park. There, we took a ranger-led boat tour of the Ten-Thousand Islands, which was absolutely breathtaking. I, unfortunately, forgot my camera - big fail, since the kids were looking so adorable in their sunglasses and sunhats, writing furiously in their Junior Ranger Workbooks (so as to do enough prep work to be sworn in as Junior Rangers - more on that later!) We saw nesting terns, ospreys, gulls, pelicans, herons/egrets, ibis and, Syler's favorite by far, the infamous turkey vultures! We were even treated by three dolphins who decided to swim in front of, alongside and behind the boat - the kids were in absolute awe. Here's some great info on all the bird species that you can see in the Everglades.

After the tour, we drove about a mile away to the Big Cypress National Preserve where we were in for a real treat: big black alligators gliding (and hiding, rather well-camoflaged) in the swamp waters! We got out for a closer look but were warned by a ranger at one of our stops that we needed to carry the kids, since some of the alligators had been recently (illegally) fed: hence their tendency to glide toward us rather than away from us. Scary, but totally cool.