Sunday morning before those who were not working left, we went for breakfast at a very good restaurant. It was just around the corner from where we ate the morning before. As I said, Workampers like to eat, drink and enjoy the company of friends. Soon Lou and I were the only ones free to explore, so we did.
Back down route 41 south, aka, Tamiami Trail, toward Everglades City and 30 miles beyond. Our target destination was Everglades National Park Shark Valley. Did you know there was a valley in Florida? The two coasts are limestone rigs that are slightly higher then the middle, hence, valley. LOL.
Since we were making good time in our hour and a half drive, we stopped along the way at the Oasis Visitors Center run by the NPS. The boardwalk caught our attention first. It was totally different from the boardwalk on Friday. The boardwalk was over a large ditch or small canal between the Visitors Center and the highway. There was much to see. Hence, part 3 will be in two parts, 3A and 3B.
We saw places on the water where the surface boiled with small fish coming up and diving right back to the bottom. The ranger thought that since the water level was going down there was less oxygen and the fish were coming up to grasp an air bubble to take to the bottom. Whatever the reason. the alligators loved it. They would swim through the swarm of fish with their mouth open. All the ripples are fish as the water surface was as smooth as glass.
We had a much better view of a green heron. The sun on the water adds to the sparkle.
This is a female Anhinga. The buff colored neck shows off her sex. Notice the pointed beak used to spear fish. The Double Crested Cormorant has a hooked bill to snag fish. The Anhinga has no oil on its feathers to repel water. Consequently it sinks to the point that only its neck is out of the water when surfaced. Some people call it the Snake Bird aka the American Darter or Water Turkey.
There are many fish in the water. The two longish ones are Gar. They are about 2 foot long. I think the other is a cichlid of sorts. Cichlids are tropical fish that are considered invasive.
Inside the center were several nice and informative displays. We watched a 20 minute video presentation on the Big Cypress National Preserve. It was done very professionally. After the lights came up we noticed quilted art works hanging on the walls, beautiful workmanship! These are a few of the hangings.
Florida State Butterfly, Zebra Longwing
This concludes our stop at the Oasis Visitors Center. The next blog will take up at the Shark Valley Visitors Center.