Friday, March 20, 2009

Secrets of The Everglades

We woke up at 6 am on Saturday. That is still quite late for a birder, but with the daylight saving we still could make it on time for the sunrise. I, unaccustomed to open my eyes at that time, slept the whole way to the park, and arrived fresh and energetic. Although it was spring break and the park was unusually full with tourists and families, we decided to stay for the whole weekend. Starting at Paurotis Pond, where the dozens of Wood Storks carried branches back and forth right on top of our heads. Through the telescope we saw them build and feed the little hungry chicks.

There were also roseate spoonbills, herons, egrets of all kinds, anhingas and alligators all in the same pond. Incredible.
While he painted and was bothered by curious and Japaneses who wanted to take pictures of him, I slept, read, wrote, walked, took pictures, read, wrote and slept some more.
When the sun was directly on top of us, we decided to picnic inside the tent. We stationed ourselves amongst red mangroves somewhere the troopers couldn't see us. We ate grapes, carrots and nuts and he painted some more while I read out loud J.D. Salinger stories. It took us a while to get our stuff together and we arrived to Flamingo passed 6 pm so there was nobody to register with for the camping space for the night. But there was sign:
"If you are here after 6 pm, grabbed an empty space and pay the $16 tomorrow morning." $16 is more than the park entrance, but I might as well not be cheap about the one thing that needs the most money in SoFla. Instead of settling down, we drove to Bear Lake Trail and walked the intimate path.

While he called warblers I took pictures and on the way back we walked quietly in the hopes of hearing owls, but our wish wasn't granted. From our tent we heard kids plying, still up with their families, an old couple that dined quietly but we could still hear them and some out of place drunk teenagers. I fell asleep looking at the stars.