Sunday, October 14, 2012

Back to the Everglades

This weekend seemed to mark a change in season, which got me thinking a lot about our camping trips. Instead of afternoon storms and early morning temperatures above 80 degrees, we got our first glimpse into what could be a windy season. We stayed in Chokoloskee Island for the weekend so we could take advantage of the beautiful weekend. No significant rains were expected, but the relentless northeast winds would prevail, and boy did they. Another nice change was the cooler temperatures especially felt on Saturday morning when we awoke to 65 degrees.

As always when we are paddling, the winds dictate our course of action. Rather than spend the weekend on and around the large bay, we decided to launch from Seagrape Drive in the Big Cypress Preserve (off the Tamiami Trail) in an area that would offer more wind protection. Here is an aerial map of the area.

I didn't expect to have much opportunity to photograph birds. The water levels are so high right now that the fresh water is flowing like crazy. Unexpectedly though, this fact became the best part of my weekend. From the Seagrape canal, I turned into a smaller creek that immediately led me into an Everglades sawgrass meadow. The creek that I paddled was quite deep and distinctly cut through the water-saturated meadow. Several water trails tempted me to explore the area, but I didn't need a water trail. With a moderate amount of effort, I was able to glide my canoe through the grasses.

I spent two beautiful mornings paddling around the area where mangroves intermingle with grasses and birds have lots of hiding places. Enjoy the photos from the Everglades.

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