The Florida Everglades PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 04 February 2004 00:00

Today we decided to explore the Florida Everglades. Our first stop was at a native-owned airboat ride operator. Yesterday, while crossing Highway 41, through the Everglades to the campground, we made a point of looking at the different airboat operations, specifically their boats. We wanted to go out on a smaller boat with fewer people and we returned to the place where we had seen many; Sunset Island Small Air Boat Rides operated by the Miccosukee Indian Tribe. Our guide was very friendly and very informative. He took us into the Everglades on a small boat that would only hold a maximum of eight people and we were the only four passengers he had. We stopped several times to observe alligators at various stages of growth and we stopped at a native "Hammock", a small island that the natives used to set up "camp". The natives that migrated to this swampland were escaping the shameful wrath of the white man, in order to survive and learned to adapt to the environment.

We then ventured into the Florida Everglades National Park Shark Valley Visitor Center. Right away we saw gators of all sizes including one that was slowly sneaking up on a Blue Heron with a catfish in his beak. It was really cool watching this bird playing with his catch yet keeping his eye on the gator and then watching the gator sneaking up on the blue heron, trying not to be seen. Fortunately, the blue heron out-smarted the gator and hopped onto the shore and away from his hungry jaws. We then went on a guided trolley tour further into the park where we learned that this swampy habitat was actually a river. We saw all kinds of birds, turtles and gators and learned about the history of the park. A lot is being done to try and save this park because as a result of man's carelessness; it is severely threatened and faces a sure death. When will we learn that our behaviour has a ripple effect on all life, not just our own? Undecided