Everglades National Park, Day 12 – Tuesday – February 19, 2013
Day 12, Tuesday – Nine Mile Pond Paddle and A SPECIAL Dinner:o)
Originally, we made reservations for this ranger led paddle for last Sunday. However, when we saw that the weather for that day was supposed to be in the 40s and windy, we were able to switch our reservation to today. That was a great move!! The paddle starts at 8am and today we arrived at that pond to spectacular weather. While we waited for the paddle to begin, we had the opportunity to see some unusual birds.
According to the ranger, this pair of Royal Terns have a strange relationship. The one with the fish in its mouth, heckles the other one until it is fed. Even then, it stills chases and hollers at the other one. He said they have been here displaying that behavior for a couple years!!!
Next the ranger pointed out some White Crowned Pigeons. These birds are from the Caribbean and this is as far north as they come.
Finally, we prepared to start the paddle.
Ranger “G” pointed to where we would be paddling in relationship to the entire Everglades. Sure glad we have a guide… you can’t drop bread crumbs out there;o))
Normally, six canoes go on this paddle. However, today there were only five going. Actually, two couples did not show up, but there was a couple waiting at the pond hoping to get a cancellation. We would recommend that you make your reservation when you first arrive at Flamingo as this paddle fills up very quickly!!
Ranger “G” led the way and one by one we followed across Nine Mile Pond,
passed a small alligator,
then through a narrow mangrove tunnel
to open water at the end of the tunnel.
He was a great guide and you could tell he loves what he does.
But more than that, he loves the Everglades and
wants those he meets to realize how special and important this place really is!!!
The Everglades are formed by mangroves that start as tiny seed pods
which grow in to larger islands!!
In the photo above, you can see a high water line.
We were here near the end of the dry season so the water was quite shallow.
We were also here during Alligator mating season!!! We could here the males bellowing to attract a mate. Since we paddled through many Mangrove Tunnels, it was a bit unnerving to hear the bellowing close by;o((
Never did we feel in any danger… just a little out of our comfort zone!!!
Tricia and Syl got a hitch-hiker in their canoe;o))
At one point, we met a kayak tour group.
However, most of our trip was very peaceful and quiet...
just our group, the beautiful scenery and the wildlife!!
We’ve hiked, paddled and been to several ranger led activities,
but this paddle was a real highlight!!!
Later in the afternoon,
just when we thought things couldn’t get any better…
It was so much fun:o))
The Perfect Ending to a Perfect Day!!!
at 8:15 AM