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

Henry David Thoreau

Bayshore Loop & Pythons

Sunday February 10, 2013
Site T-15 Flamingo Campground
Everglades National Park


Back in Homestead for a visit today (Thursday February 14- Happy Valentine’s Day) so I’ve put up another 3 posts of our activities at Flamingo.   If you want to read the other two they are, in order, Slogging Through the Slough, and Christian’s Point.  Just click the title and the blog will come up.

Returning to our Flamingo adventures – loops, pythons, crocodiles:

Our friends Bill and Nancy arrived late Friday afternoon for two weeks.  We are always happy to see them.  We have a similar style of life and enjoy many of the same things.  So when they said they wanted to go out and hike the 2 mile Bay shore Loop that goes off from the back of one of the camping loops we said sure we’ll go along.

This is the same loop we went on when I was chasing the sunset during our first days here but we had never seen it in the daylight.


It too starts off in a wooded area, moves into Prairie and then into mangrove habitat.  Because of our hike yesterday to Christian Point and having taken the Tropical Tree walk we are able to identify many of the things we see on the trail.


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Now if you want to see great pictures of this hike, I suggest you check out Nancy’s post on it.  She gets fabulous pictures.  Right now she’s still back in Flamingo so it will be a few days before her post gets up but you can find it here.

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It’s not really as confusing as it looks.  The Coastal Prairie hike is 12 miles round trip.  I think we’ll take the 2 mile Bayshore Loop please Mr. Bill..

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Look at this exquisite design.

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Looks like I’m not the only one who thinks so.

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The views along the water look a great deal like the Christian’s point hike from yesterday.


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Bill and David dutifully bring up the rear so the short people can see something other than the backs of the hikers in front of them.  Thanks guys!

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The red mangroves standing up on their roots never give up the quest to create more territory.


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A lovely morning walk with fine friends.

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In the afternoon we attend a talk on pythons.  In sum, there are a lot of them in South Florida.   They seem to be eating up all the rabbits and raccoons in the area.   They have come from the exotic pet trade.  People buy pythons, lovely snakes when a foot or so long and after a year when they are 6 feet long what do you do with it?   Well you take it to some out of the way place and let it go of course.   How about the Everglades? 

Pythons like south Florida very well.  They can’t live in cooler climes so it isn’t as much of a worry for other states. And maybe that’s why the sale of pythons is still legal in many states though not in Florida.  The US government has made the importation of pythons and the interstate sale of them illegal but that doesn’t stop folks from buying them in one state and bringing them home.

No doubt you’ve all heard about the Python Hunt.  Sounds like a great idea but in a month, only 50 pythons were captured.   At the rate they can multiply, that might be equivalent to one female python’s offspring for a year.

The ranger has great pictures of a 17’ python being captured and carried out of the park over 7 men’s shoulders.

He shows the skin of another python captured in the park.  I’m positive I would not like to meet up with a snake that big.


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He also has, in a plastic case, a replica of a skull with the mouth propped open.  Check out those teeth.  Like the shark, they are numerous and slanted inward.  Once it’s got you, it isn’t going to let you go.   But, luckily we are too big for pythons to consider us prey although the ranger says one captured python was autopsied and a 70 pound deer was found in his stomach.   WHAT?  

Let’s see, when was the last time any of us weighed 70 pounds??


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The bottom line is, pythons are very hard to see.  They blend into the environment nearly perfectly so unless they show up on the road, there are few captures.  It appears we are going to have to learn to live with them here.  Like kudzu, they have adapted perfectly.


After the talk which is at the visitor’s center, we walk over to the marina just in time for this pelican to fly in.  He looks lovely there all by himself against the island backdrop.


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We are on our way to see if any crocodiles might be there and sure enough….


Look at that pointy snout.

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Ospreys are everywhere here.  They nest above the visitor’s center and here at the marina.  The proximity of people does not seem to bother them one bit.


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Time to go back to Winnona and watch the wildlife in my own back yard.  It’s been another tough day.


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  1. Yep, those pythons are there to stay. Natural selection works every time :)

  2. Ah, yes...it sure is a tough life! Cool python photos!

  3. Well, I'm all caught up now with your posts... it seems like forever since we heard from you. Careful now or we'll start calling you the snake lady!!

  4. How cool Bill and Nancy are there visiting with you! I'd say have fun but I know you most certainly are. :c)

  5. Isn't it nice spending time with friends doing things everyone enjoys!
    I like your view!

  6. So glad to 'hear' from you guys. Looks like you're having a glorious time down in the 'Glades.

  7. I love the photos with the trees framing the sides of the path - what I think of as a portal. I'm always looking for those kinds of shots, and you have some great ones today.

  8. how safe is it to walk around? is that why you have to go with a ranger? Very pretty but scarry place.

  9. All caught up! In all our visits to Florida, we've yet to visit the Everglades, so your posts made for a good virtual tour. I hope we never have to see one of those pythons.

  10. Another great adventure. Hate snakes of any kind and the python would not be something I would like to walk upon.

  11. Great pictures, Sherry.... all three posts! I don't know ... all your walking in swamps ~ pythons are about? as well as all the other critters? I agree ... another great adventure!

    Seems to me all wild life should be illegal to own as pets. a python for a pet kind of person would scare me anyway... jeez

    Their multiplying so quickly reminds me of that OLD joke... drunk in a bar motions for the bartender to come over and says … did you know that alligators lay a million eggs a year?

    Bartender rolls his eyes and nods and moves along.... drunk pounds the bar and says ... Bartender! Bartender! I said did you know that alligators lay a million eggs a year!" .... bartender ROLLS his eyes stays busy and nods and moves along .... drunk POUNDS the bar .... BARTENDER! I said .... alligators lay a million eggs a year!

    Bartender finally comes over ~ sighs ... yeah okay buddy and what do you want me to about it... Drunk says... well, if somebody doesn't do something about it ... we're all going to be up to our asses in alligators.

    that was hilarious about 2 or 3 in the morning after a night of lots of whiskey and branch water…. ;) but then so was a lot of other stuff ~

  12. OMG -- a 17' python??? Really hope I never have occasion to come face-to-face with one of those.


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