Landscape and Nature Photographer
We were very excited to go to the Everglades and experience native Florida as it was before southern Florida was inhabited by humans. We entered the park through the Earnest F. Coe entrance near Homestead Florida. Our first trail was the Anhinga Trail located near the Royal Palm Visitor Center.
As soon as we parked we noticed a huge number of black vultures in the parking lot. Another visitor pointed out the box in front of the visitor center containing tarps the National Park Service provides to cover your vehicle with. Covering your vehicle is a really good idea. If you don’t (like the people who owned the vehicle in the photo to the right) the vultures will pick off and eat pieces of rubber from anywhere they can get at it. Even though we had a family member stay with the vehicle we had to cover the van as a human was no threat or obstacle in the tantalizing breakfast that awaited on the windshield wipers.
Exploring The Everglades
We continued west on 9336 through the park, stopping at the different areas along the way. Pine hammocks, cyprus domes, marshes, ponds, lakes, saw grass fields and many other habitats greeted us on our drive. The park is very large and spread out so it involves a great deal of stop and go, in and out of your vehicle. Restrooms are not abundant, and only located at each end of the park with an additional one located about 2/3 of the way to the most western end. Most of the trails were easy to navigate. The park offered informational boards in each area specifying trail length, type of habitat, wildlife and plants that could be viewed. The Cyprus domes provided a unique visual perspective of the Florida landscape. Unfortunately the Flamingo visitor Center was in need of some love and repairs. I would have liked more information about the habitats and how they work together in addition to the single descriptive information boards. However youtube has a short series of videos about the everglades that did a great job providing this type of information. The everglades is truly a special place and a location worth preserving.