Tag Archives: Florida

A Few Days in The Everglades

Tram tour from the Shark Valley Visitor Center in Everglades National Park

Kathy & I are wrapping up a short week in south Florida, where we spent three days in various parts of Everglades National Park.  I’ve got a ton of photos to process when I get home and we’ll be on a cruise ship next week.  So my postings may be a little thin over the next week or so. Here are a few photos in the interim.

Alligator on the Anhinga Trail in Everglades National Park
Great Blue Heron
Wood Stork
Osprey and nest
Anhinga Trail in Everglades National Park
Shark Valley Visitor Center in Everglades National Park
Pa-Hay-Okee Lookout Tower and boardwalk, Everglades National Park
Pa-Hay-Okee Lookout Tower and boardwalk, Everglades National Park
Everglades National Park boat cruise with Everglades Area Tours of Chokoloskee Island, Florida

Elvis Didn’t Sleep Here

The supposedly famous Heartbreak Hotel in Kenansville, Florida

Spotted enroute to our cruise ship in Port Canaveral, Florida.

According to several sources, the tie to Elvis is a tenuous and indirect one.  The song “Heartbreak Hotel” was co-written by songwriters Mae Boren Axton and Tommy Durden.  Durden possibly did stay at this hotel, and was possibly inspired by a local newspaper article about the suicide of a lonely man who jumped from a hotel window.  Although not this one.

The Land Where The Palm Trees Grow *

Palm tree nurseries near Homestead, Florida

I suppose if I had thought about it I would have realized that somewhere on this planet had to be a place that had palm tree nurseries.  Today we found them!

Palm tree nurseries near Homestead, Florida
Palm tree nurseries near Homestead, Florida
Palm tree nurseries near Homestead, Florida

Kathy & I are in south Florida and decided to head out to Biscayne National Park near Homestead.  On our way there and back we passed dozens of palm tree nurseries, covering thousands of acres or more.  I shot a few examples of them on the way, but it was amazing to see the sheer number of palm trees – of all sizes and types – being grown all in one place!

Palm tree nurseries near Homestead, Florida
Palm tree nurseries near Homestead, Florida

* Some sources suggest that the original song lyrics are “the land where the bong tree grows,” but this is the version I remember – from “The Owl & The Pussycat”

Mangrove Reflections

Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, Florida

I’ve been finishing up some of the photos from our first trip this year, the one to Captiva and Sanibel Islands, Florida.  These are a few more from the mangrove swamp at Ding Darling NWR.  Not all of these are of mangroves per se, but you get the idea.

Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, Florida

I felt like these needed to be in black & white.  Partly because of the weird color of the water due to the brackishness (is that a word?) of the marshland water but also because of the patterns themselves.

Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, Florida
Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, Florida
Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, Florida
Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, Florida

Birds, Birds, Birds!

White Ibis at Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, Florida

Kathy & I spent the day yesterday exploring the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island.  I was channeling my buddy Don Brown just a little bit, as he is one of the best bird shooters I know.  I was handicapped a bit by a 200mm lens on my Fuji, not really long enough for serious wildlife work.  But I came away with a few shots that are reasonably well exposed, acceptably sharp and representative of what we saw.

Yellow-Crowned Night Heron at Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, Florida

The most amazing thing we saw I wasn’t even able to record!  we walked back a trail into a wood, and soon found a group of egrets lounging in an area well off the beaten path.  There were easily a hundred or more there, but the brush was so thick that there was no way to make a photograph.  But the sound!  I said it sounded like the morning after a frat party – lots of guttural sounds and weird noises.  It was quite an experience, but you’ll just need to take my word for it!

White Snowy Egret at Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, Florida
Little Blue Heron at Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, Florida