Today has been a really long day. Ed and I hit the road about 7:30am and arrived home at 9:10pm. The everglades were wonderful and we saw almost everything we were hoping to see. That means there are lots of photos for Ed to look at and "process". It also means I won't get to choose my photos for the blog till tomorrow. Unfortunately for the blog and fortunately for us, we have plans that will put us on the road by 9am so it maybe evening before I work on today's blog again.

We pulled into the parking lot at the Royal Palm area in the Everglades and noticed tarps covering vehicles and black vultures sitting on the cars. Ed grabbed a tarp and bungee cords from a bin by the washrooms and covered our car in the same fashion we saw other cars covered.

We had barely walked away from our car when a vulture landed on the roof.

While the number of people visitors were low, the vultures hung around.

It was a little over whelming when you walked to the end of a look out and saw this. I think there are at least 12 full or part alligators in this photo.

I think this one is looking for trouble.

A park ranger told us where he has seen Purple Gallinules. Ed was really happy when he found not one, not two but three Purple Gallinules walking on the lily pads.

This is an immature Purple Gallinule. One distinctive feature are the very large feet.

This is an adult Purple Gallinule.

The trail we walked to see the alligators and purple gallinule was called the Anhinga Trail and yes there were lots of Anhingas on the trail.

In fact we saw a number of baby anhingas. They are cute fuzzy little and not so little birds.


Leaving Royal Palm we drove further south into the Everglades. We had a good laugh when we saw this sign.

If you've ever driven through the mountains you will have seen many signs similar to this.

I'm still having trouble wrapping my head around "the everglades" being a "sea of grass". I guess I've watched too many TV shows with air boats zipping through the glades.

In some areas of the everglades Cypress trees grow. Yes, Cypress trees like water.

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We don't normally take photos of crows but this one was playing peek-a-boo with Ed. I think he wanted Ed's sandwich. That's our car the crow is sitting on. The Osprey didn't need any of Ed's lunch he caught him self a good size fish.

At the southern end of the Everglades is Flamingo. The rangers tell us that this is the only place in the world where Crocodiles and Alligators co-exist. Apparently the everglades is the only place that provides conditions suitable to both Crocodiles and Alligators.

A big old crocodile.

We also saw lots of different butterflies. Finally one stayed still long enough for a photo.

As evening started to fall the birds started returning to the ponds where they roost.

This Coot's already staked out his spot in a mangrove bush.

The pond was full of groups of Coots. This was a very noisy spot as the Coots organized themselves for the night.

At another pond, Ibis were flying in.