I want to share my trip to Everglades National Park that I took with Vinny, my hubby, my BIL, Carl, and Grace, my SIL when we were in Florida this week.
Everglades National Park (Shark River Valley)
The Everglades are a subtropical wetland located in the southern portion of the U.S. state of Florida, comprising the southern half of a large watershed. The system begins near Orlando with the Kissimmee River, which discharges into the vast but shallow Lake Okeechobee. Water leaving the lake in the wet season forms a slow-moving river 60 miles (97 km) wide and over 100 miles (160 km) long, flowing southward across a limestone shelf to Florida Bay at the southern end of the state. The Everglades are shaped by water and fire, experiencing frequent flooding in the wet season and drought in the dry season.
The Everglades is made up of sawgrass prairie, sloughs (free-flowing channels of water) tree islands and cypress swamps above a limestone base.
The Everglades are dying. The Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan was signed into law in December 2008 but restoration hasn't begun because of the divisive politics of the region.
We visited during the dry season (winter) when temperatures are temperate and mosquitoes are at a minimum. We were able to get pretty close to the alligators which were usually found basking in the sun on the edge of sloughs. We were warned to stay at least 10 feet away and more if it was a female with babies.
There are panthers in the park and manatees and dolphins but we weren't lucky enough to see any. There are pythons too but the Everglades is not their natural habitat. People who had pythons as pets let them loose in the park and now they have become a nuisance. There is a program in place to eliminate them.