Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Day 2 Everglades National Park

Today we made it all the way to the other end of the road at Everglades National Park. This road is 36 miles one way and is a dead end road.


We first started the drive through a Pine Forest.


The Skeleton Forest

In winter dry season, bald-cypress trees appear bare and lifeless. Though conifers, they shed their needles seasonally, becoming green again in spring. These trees are full-grown, but shallow water and thin soil have stunted them here.


Gassy Waters

Before you lies prairie. But if you look you will see the Shark River Slough slowly flowing Gulf-ward. The Shark River is 8 miles wide here, but shallow – like a sheet of water. the higher drier spots support a mahogany hammocks and the bald cypress. Higher ground means just a few inches.


This boardwalk bridges the sawgrass river and enters a tropical hammock. Old-growth mahogany trees are growing inside this hammock on the higher drier ground.


Old growth mahogany trees.


The river with hammocks in the background.



On the way to Flamingo at the end of the park road we crossed two high spots on the Everglades. Both these signs are 20 miles or more from the ocean.


Mangrove forest growing in brackish and salt water.


Spring time in the everglades


Saltwater crocodile swimming in brackish water.

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