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

Henry David Thoreau

Broken Buggy

Sunday January 6, 2013
Site 30 Kissimmee Prairie Preserve
Okeechobee, Florida


No swamp buggy tour for us.
What a disappointment.


swamp buggy

Doesn’t this buggy look cool?  I was so excited to ride on it.  Every time I saw it parked over by the shed, I thought about how much fun it would be.  I’d get my pictures when we got on it.  This picture is from the internet.  The story of why I don’t have my own picture follows. 

The Swamp Buggy tour only runs on the week-ends.  During the winter there is an 8:30 am and a 2:00 pm tour both Saturday and Sunday.  We opted out of the Saturday morning because it was a running day.  The Saturday afternoon tour was full so we couldn’t get on and signed ourselves up for Sunday morning.   But then after about an hour and a half into the Saturday afternoon tour, the buggy had mechanical troubles and the 8 tourists had to be 4WD truck rescued and returned to the office.  Money refunded since they only got half a tour but no tours on Sunday at all since the repairs can’t start until Monday.  We are having some bad luck here at the Prairie.



Now we have another free day.

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I can show you at least some of the puffy clouds if not the scope of the skies and prairie.







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Out come the bikes. 

From the shell roads in the Preserve is a great way to see the expanse of this landscape.

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We get most of the way down this road to our hiking, no motor vehicle trail destination when David discovers he doesn’t have the binoculars.  He’s been using mine since he can’t locate his.  So he turns around and bikes back about a mile to get them and then another mile to rejoin me.

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I wait.  :-)

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We are going down a trail we’ve been on before but….

because it has sloughs we think our chances of seeing wildlife will be improved.

Sure enough.  There is a flock of ibis gathered on the road/trail next to the wetlands.   We estimate there are 300 or 400.   Too many for me to get in one picture.   Ibis of all ages and stages.


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Neither of us has ever seen a flock of birds this large.  20 can fly off without any noticeable difference in the group.   Love them grouped around this beware of alligator sign.

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It is breath taking to see them fly and hear their wings.

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David is positive he sees a kestrel through the binoculars.  We also think we hear a night hawk.  But these are the folks we for sure see and can get photos of in this watery area.

Numerous red winged blackbirds

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over a dozen queen butterflies

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3 BIG alligators

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A great egret surveying his lands

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This anhinga blended in so well I almost didn’t see him.

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Many meadowlarks singing on this warm winter day.  It’s just great to see them stand right up there and sing their little hearts out.


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Not sure what this mother raccoon is up to.  She walks right along the road by the alligator pond.   Perhaps she stands up to see if they look restless.  Then she proceeds on and walks right by us.

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The gray clouds are starting to gather and lower. 
The sky is turning pink just up from the horizon.

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Looking another direction, the clouds almost look like snow covered mountains in the distance.  This is just a perfect place for cloud watching.


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Time to walk back to the bikes and watch the sun get squeezed in between the clouds.


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Tomorrow we say good bye to Kissimmee Prairie but it has foiled too many of our desires so we will definitely have to make a return date.


  1. Gorgeous photos. Until you wrote about this site on your blog I had no idea there was a prairie in Florida. Pretty amazing. Keep up the wonderful posts :)


  2. I wouldn't have thought a 'huge wheeled' vehicle (even a cart) would be 'your thing', but then it would have allowed a good view and lots of learning - how unfortunate you had to miss that...hopefully next time...! So many animals and birds and tremendous, beautiful clouds - really gave me more appreciation for the prairie.

  3. It is so fun to see your pictures of birds and animals that we only see in zoos out west. I'm not so sure about that huge wheeled critter either. I'm sure it would eliminate the quiet and peaceful feel I so love in wilderness areas. But it would be grand to have the guided tour and have someone point out the wildlife that I would be unfamiliar with. So I guess pluses and minuses as there seems to be in all parts of life. It looks like a great day to me!

  4. Just gorgeous, Sherry... I had no idea of a prairie there either! a shell road? how cool and oh, man? the birds ... can't believe you got those shots of the raccoon and alligator ... good thing birds can't read. Alligators smell? how do they protect themselves against the gators... sight? naw..

    well bummer on the buggy... but you sure saw some great stuff...

  5. Bummer about the buggy ride. That looks like one cool ride. Next time!

  6. Aren't you glad you didn't go on Saturday? Yikes, wouldn't want to be stuck in a swamp :) Nice shots of the Ibis..wow, must have been beautiful!

  7. I guess it could have been worse, no rescue and you at the mercy of the wildlife:)

  8. That buggy ride sounds like a neat thing to do -- sorry it didn't work out for you. We had a very small flock of ibis visit us when we were at Pelican Roost. Seeing so many of them in one place must have been great.

  9. Sorry you couldn't go a buggying, but at least it wasn't Winnona that broke down. I guess that was a Murphy deflection.

    Amazing flock of ibis. Reminds me of the people flocking to the big tent RV show in Quartzsite in January. ;c)

    Happy Birthday, David. Another good man born on the 8th!

  10. Great animal pic's. You guys saw a lot of cool birds and got exercise on your bikes.
    Are you in Disney now? Hope David has a wonderful birthday.

  11. First off, Happy Birthday David. You packed a lot of riding into one day. When I first read your title I thought the MH had broke down. If you ever get to the Southern Oregon Coast, great buggy rides there. Sherry, your pictures, are great. Makes me feel like I'm right there. Thank you for sharing.

  12. Those long prairies offered a lot of great wildlife as well as big skies. Bummer about the buggy. Where to next?

  13. You find the best locations....that flock was gorgeous!

  14. Wow, that was a big flock of Ibis. That's one thing you got to see that we didn't!

    I guess we should probably make a reservation for the buggy tour so we don't get shut out. I would assume they would have it repaired by then.

    I hope you get to go back there again. It was an amazing place last June when we were the only ones there!


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