Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

An Eco Pond Morning & A Snake Bight Afternoon

Friday February 16, 2013
Site T-15 Flamingo Campground
Everglades National Park

Oh what a beautiful morning!


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It rained hard all night long last night and is drizzling now.
Too cloudy for seeing the sun rise but the colors opposite are still beautiful.






And the birds are out at Eco Pond.  Perhaps fewer because of the rain.

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But even with the drizzle they are here.
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This red shouldered hawk looks pretty water logged.


All this beauty has made me very hungry.

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After a delicious breakfast we set out for our last trail hike here in Everglades National Park, the Snake Bight Trail.

It’s drizzling when we arrive at the Snake Bight Trail head.

It has been drizzling all morning as you have seen in the bird pictures and can see here on the map.  But it is a light drizzle and we don’t mind.


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The name snake bight has nothing to do with snakes or bites.  Well it may have to do with snakes although we don’t see any.  A bight is actually a bay within a bay.  So Snake ‘bight’ is within Florida Bay.

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The trail is 3.2 miles round trip ending in a boardwalk in the Snake Bight.
Beside the trail runs a canal  built by The Model Land Company formed by railroad tycoon Henry Flagler in the early 20’s.  It was dredged in a thankfully failed attempt to drain the everglades.  The road was built and used during the dredging and is now the trail so it is more like a lane than a trail especially in the beginning.   An easy walk or bike ride although you would miss the details on a bike I think.

The canal is visible through the trees and bushes.  It is the brown water in these pictures.  At one point about midway on the hike we came upon a gathering of ibis, snowy egrets and 4 roseate spoonbills.  The latter were sitting in a row on a branch hanging down over the canal.  What a great sight.   The foliage would not allow a picture and when they saw us, sadly they flew off.
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This trail has a lot of interesting wildlife.
Those were the only birds we spotted before the boardwalk, but we did encounter the tame Determined White Ankled Scope Toter.  He passed us as we dawdled.  He was on a mission to get to the boardwalk and must have walked right past the spoon bills we saw just up the trail.  We met him when we got to the end but didn’t tell him what he’d missed.  Seemed a shame to spoil his day although perhaps the information might have made him slow down to enjoy the journey.   He’d come from Iowa on a “birding trip”.

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Also on the trail was this gorgeous live oak.
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The wildlife is getting smaller.

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We almost step on this rock in mid trail.  We pick him up and move him in the direction he is headed so he won’t get stepped on or run over by bicyclists.   On the way back we see him again and another small one just like him.  From the close up picture his nose looks like the Florida Softshell but his shell looks more like a a box turtle but not like any I’m familiar with.  If you know, please comment and tell me.

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We reach the boardwalk and meet the DWAST.
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It’s low tide and the mud flats are beautiful.
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I used to think of mud flats as uninteresting but that’s because I never looked closely enough.
Today I do.

The birds are at binocular and scope distance – egrets, herons, spoonbills, pelicans.  But close up I spot much of interest just below the boardwalk.


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There are lots of stories here. 

Lunch time drama?  Poor fiddler crab.
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White feather, snail shell, red mangrove root.  Is there a story that includes them all?
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As we turn to leave, I spot what I believe is a version of a golden orb spider hanging below the railing.  He is just outstanding!  Nature’s designs are everywhere.

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We walk back the same way we came along the perfectly straight road that did not luckily lead to the draining of the Everglades. 
Tomorrow we leave this fascinating place and move on to Sebastian Inlet State Park on the Atlantic Ocean.  I’m sad to be leaving although as the heat and mosquitoes increase perhaps it’s just as well.   There’s always a next time I hope.

The End



  1. Spiders too! You have become quite the wildlife expert....I shall have to send all identifications on to you!! I recognized it as a spider... does that count?

  2. I was relieved to learn that snake bight was not a typo. What a beautiful spider photo! You have such a good eye for seeing beauty everywhere. Looked like a good last day in the Everglades in spite of the change in weather.

  3. I'm not a huge fan of spiders , but that one is beautiful.

  4. Life-listers. A lot of them miss out on the joy of the walk.

  5. What a great shot you got of the Golden Orb spider. They are tricky to photograph.

    You certainly had a wonderful hike with a lot of wildlife. The Little Blue Heron actually looks blue!

    I hate that you have to leave because I've enjoyed your posts to much, but I'm sure you'll find more to see and do at Sebastian.

  6. Love the pictures, but I would because frogs, toads, and turtles are so cute. I'm sure glad you looked into your cup before any hot liquid went in.

  7. Enjoyed trailing along with you on your walks ... a winter trip to the Everglades is on our agenda when we get down that way in a couple of years.

  8. I love spoonbills - I think they may be one of my favorite birds! That breakfast looks mighty tasty - more tasty than the meals the birds were likely having in the marsh ;) Great finds - crabs and spiders and even pretty mud. What a fun day!

  9. I'm always impressed by your knowledge of all things nature. Even your identification of the DWAST. ;-)

    Good job rescuing the turtle from a possible tragedy.


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