Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Naples, FL Part 3B of 3

We continued on to Shark Valley Center. Shark Valley Center had a tram ride that travelled 45 minutes out into the everglades. There was a thirty foot observation tower. Then 45 minutes return via a different route. The trip was catered by a couple who were retired school teachers. One drove and one narrated. They were hired by an outside agent as the Park Service out sourced the concession. $20 per person less $1 for seniors.

There are several different egrets in Florida. This is know as the Snowy Egret. I remember its identifying mark because, to me, it is opposite of what I would have thought.


It has a black beak! The feet are yellow and it is one of the smaller egrets. Notice its little top crown. Like all egrets, it is a member of the heron family.

Previously I had mentioned the anhinga. Since they lack oil on their feathers they sink suvh that only their neck and head is out of the water. It helps them to submerge quickly and easily to hunt for fish. The draw back is that when they leave the water their wings are very wet. It is a lot of added weigh. They will perch in the sun and usually face the breeze to dry their feathers. This is a female (note the neck coloration).


As you look out across the everglades you will see an occasional clumping of shrubs and trees. These are places where the elevation is slightly higher. They maybe a foot or two higher. This is a slightly different eco-system so different flora.


The next sighting was of a bird that while not extremely rare, it is rarely seen. We had the privilege several years ago of having one come on our dock and eat within four feet of us. Beautiful birds!

DSC07535 purplr gallinule

DSC07538 purple gallinule 2 

The identifiers are a green back, purple head and under parts. The white plate on its head is what I first see. The purple gallinule has a cousin that is much more abundant. The common gallinule, aka moorhen, lacks bright coloration. The frontal head plate is bright red. The bill is yellow tipped. Sorry no picture at this time.

We did travel to the old town of Naples on Monday morning. It was a very quaint town. The shops were mostly up scale. It seems to be a place for the well to do. A large percentage of the autos parked were Jags, BMWs, Vets, and the like. The first vehicle we saw as we entered was a Rolls Royce Convertible. What a snazzy ride! We “hitched our ‘gitty-up’” as Rod would say and headed home.

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