Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Everglades National Park (in one day)

pine glade lake sunset florida
Pine Glade Lake at Sunset (wonderful scene from the Everglades National Park)
Everglades National Park is unlike any place I have ever visited before.  Much of this national park is a wide slow moving river.  It goes so slowly, it is imperceptible.  Miles and miles of soggy land never dry out.  It is like a continual flood.  I had great desires to visit this national park during my recent trip to Florida.  It is well known for amazing birdlife as well as unique scenery.  I did not have extensive time to see everything.  Instead I was hoping enjoy one full day.

I started at Pineland for sunrise.  I heard this was a good location.  After driving around the entire day, I saw that there were many places that would be good for sunrise, several of them better than Pineland.  Wisdom comes with experience.  Skies were cloudless at sunrise which made this disappointing.

Immediately after sunrise, I drove to Anhinga trail.  This is a well known location for bird photography and also has alligators.  I was not disappointed.  I arrived fairly early and the birds were not very afraid of people.  I had my 300 mm lens and was able to get very close to some of these birds without them running away (or flying).  The alligators were hiding at first but as the day warmed up, several of them came out.  I saw at least a dozen up close.

I spent the afternoon visiting Mahogany hammock and some other stops along the road.  None were particularly interesting.  Some of the pine groups just off the side of the road were actually very scenic and gathering clouds improved the photography.

I ended my day at Pine Glade Lake.  Supposedly this is a great location for sunset and I was hoping to have a better experience than my sunrise.  This lake was entirely devoid of human activity.  I was here for 3 hours alone.  Sunset slowly developed into a gorgeous scene.

Leaving the national park, I felt like I had a good taste of what was here.  A longer visit in the future would be welcome.

Sunrise at Pineland
pine and clouds in everglades florida
Afternoon Pine and Clouds in the Everglades
everglades sunset florida
Golden Sunset at Pine Glade Lake
Great blue heron dark form
Great Blue Heron on Anhinga Trail
black and white everglades national park
Amazing Everglades national park

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