Tuesday, March 3, 2009

MOJO invades Everglades

[Photos are high resolution. Click to enlarge.]

One of the places I went on my vacation was The Everglades. The water is basically a 35- to 60-mile-wide river that is only inches deep. One way to see the wide array of plant and animal life is to travel in what is called an airboat. Watch the intro to the TV show CSI: Miami and you will see an airboat skimming across the water in the Everglades. It's similar to the one I was on.

The airboat has a shallow draft and is driven by a big fan-like thing. It is noisy. Click on the photo above to enlarge it and you'll see orange earplugs in the black man who is holding on to his cap. He's French, by the way. They asked where everyone was from and we also had Germans, British, South Africans, Canadians and Americans, of course.

The stuff above is called sawgrass.

Another way to see the plant and wildlife in the Everglades is to hike their trails. One that I took was called the Anhinga Trail. There were herons, egrets, turtles, alligators -- an abundance of plant and animal life.

The above image is rather cool as I just happened to catch this anhinga fishing.

After these birds dive in the water to catch fish, they spread their wings to dry.

On another trail I took, called Mahogany Hammock, a man told me there were two baby owls ahead in the tree. Sure enough, look at the photo above -- aren't they cute? Mama owl was nearby to make sure nobody messed with them. I imagine she can be ferocious if necessary.

There were alligators all over the place. One is sunning himself in the shot above.

A bunch of 'gators' are congregated in the image above. Note that one has his mouth wide open. So that they don't get too hungry, the park rangers feed them a tourist now and then.


  1. Great photos, MOJO. I was there just about when you were. Feb 15-18 at South Beach with DW and 19-20 across the Everglades at Marco Island, where we took an airboat ride thru the mangrove tangles.

    You and I are getting bastin to deliver more pics of his neat lifestyle.

  2. That looks like a blast! How cool to see the alligators! I wouldn't want to get too close to them, though.

  3. Great pictures. But ... can you remember the name of the television series from the 1960's that featured airboat scenes on a regular basis? I'll bet you can.

    When my kids were young, I sang to them about a mythical place called Alligator Land. The song went "Alligator Land, Alligator Land, where alligators bite you on the hand. Chop chomp chomp-chomp-chomp." And of course, I made my hand to be the alligator's mouth and chomped them on the hand!

    When I found out that there was a Gatorland in Orlando, we planned to go, but just never made it on our one family trip there. I have always regretted it.

  4. Lighting: I did a Google search and found several entries like this one:

    "As I grow older, I have more times when a old TV show theme song and lyrics will pop back into my head and it won't go away for a couple of days. The Everglades was such a series. The tag lyric was "Movin' ever movin' through the Everglades." I wish I could find the soundtrack of that song, just to confirm that my memory is accurate. Although I was not yet a teen when this show was on TV, and it only ran one or two seasons at most, it seems it had a profound impact on many of us boomers. Maybe it was that catchy name "Lincoln Vail" who patrolled the swamps stopping crime and saving people from alligator dinnertime, but most of all, I remember that very cool boat propelled by a huge fan that Lincoln drove through the swamps to reach his objective or save the day."

  5. @Crash: Sounds like you saw some of the same type stuff I did. Agree on bastin. Hope he doesn't mind that we are nagging him. He has a good camera and is artistic - this is a good combo.

    @Lisa: They say 'gators' aren't as aggressive as crocodiles, but I wouldn't want to try and find out, ha.

  6. What a great tour! When we've been in FL, no Everglades exploration was on the menu because of my husband's giant fear of alligators.

  7. ever since i saw a ranger become a gator snack in "Faces of Death", i will never go near a gator. F' that.

  8. Those pics look amazingly like a Rice Plantation we visited just south of Charleston, SC. Just tons of bird and gators.

  9. Cool photos. Reminds me of a television show called Dirty Jobs where they went out on one of those boats. Too bad UB charges for a withdrawal; doesn't seem right. Just for kicks I played some low limit, limit poker with a $10 buy-in online and built it up to $40 fairly easily. Maybe there is something to that game.

  10. The show was Gentle Ben -- about an Everglades Ranger and Ben -- a bear. The child in the show was Clint Howard, younger brother of Ron Howard.

  11. Really terrific photos. It is like another planet there.

  12. Thanks to all who commented. I have some more from Key West and will try and post them before I leave next week for two weeks in Houston on business.