Friday, December 7, 2018

A Weekend in Miami: The Everglades

My husband had business meetings and a dinner in Miami last Thursday. Thanks to an empty nest, I could tag along.  We explored on Friday and Saturday.  We'd never been to Miami and it was fun to discover all sorts of new things, from culture to wildlife, in the surrounding area.

Today I'm going to share some of my favorite nature pictures.  If you follow me on social media, you may have seen some of these images already.  I will confess to being swept away by the alligators we saw swimming through the wetlands and which also came right up to our airboat to check us out.  We also walked on a few trails in the Everglades National Park to explore further.  I didn't realize that each walk is designed to introduce visitors to a different micro-ecosystem within the park.

Here are some of my favorite pictures of wildlife.  I've never been so close to an alligator in its native habitat (meaning, not on a golf course or in a corporate center pond).  They seemed to be as intrigued by us as we were of them.  Some of the birds were skittish, but others let us get pretty close for photography. We explored throughout the day, right until dusk.

The marsh is really beautiful as the sun sets
Our guide didn't know this alligator, but he was a calm and curious fellow.  In my vain mind, I like to think that he was responding to my calling him a handsome, marvelous boy.
This is George.  Our guide said he was one of the dominant males in the area we were in.
I was pretty excited to get this picture of an osprey taking off from its nest.  If you look closely, you can see a bit of fish in its left claw.  Did you know that ospreys always carry their fish with the tail facing backwards?  Scientists think it's to make it's more aerodynamic.
The Purple Gallinule is a common wetlands bird in Florida, but I'd never seen one before.  Aren't the colors lovely? And look at those feet! They're about the size of a chicken: the bird, not the feet.
This is a green heron.  It's one of the few birds that uses tools.  It will try to lure prey closer by dropping or dragging a feather, twig, or insect in the water to attract a fish.  Pretty clever.

It was exciting to learn about and see wildlife we'd never encountered before.  I was snapping pictures like crazy.  Admittedly, I've seen osprey in New York, but never as up close.  A week later I'm still be scratching some of the bug bites I got, but they were totally worth it.  

Next up: culture / history at Vizcaya and art at Wynwood Walls.


1 comment:

Karen L R said...

What a fabulous adventure, with some great captures!