Holy Wilderness. At the recommendation of my parents, we headed out to Everglade City to catch their annual Seafood Festival and to take a boat ride into the mangroves in the swampy parts of the Everglades. Took us about an hour and a half to drive south through Naples and out into the Everglades.
After getting out boat tour tickets, we stopped for a lunch along the water and watched a pelican, then headed back to the park to wait an hour and a half before our boat tour began and watched another bird fishing in the water. The boys were entertaining during that wait – they found branches that were “gun” shapes and then proceeded to run around killing the bad guys. Whatever it takes!
This boat ride is unlike anything I have ever been on before. The sheer volume of wildlife we saw was staggering – our trip started out with playing with the dolphins at the entrance to the river, before moving on towards the mangroves. These photos don’t do it justice – they were diving under us and playing right next to the boat. The second photo is of a mama and her calf. And then there is the Seahawk that just caught its dinner.
This guy was a beautiful pink color – according to my parents, it is a Rosette Spoonbill.
And off into the wilderness we went – there were so many birds. My dad said that he and my mom counted nine different varieties throughout the trip. I honestly have no idea, there were just a LOT of birds. But the most stunning part of this whole experience was when we entered the mangroves. At first there were a few egrets that would take off down into the mangroves to get away from us as we entered. And then all the sudden there were a ton of them. These photos really don’t do it justice – it was one of the most beautiful and amazing things I have ever seen. And it kept happening over and over again. And not only did we see all these birds … we finally found an alligator! By the end of the boat ride, Gavin was worn out and falling asleep…