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

Henry David Thoreau

Good by to Flamingo - Hello to Big Cypress Swamp

Saturday February 1 and Sunday February 2, 2014
Midway Campground site 16
Ochopee, Florida



Saturday morning is another gray and eerie sunrise.  








The view to the bay.DSCF5854 - Copy



The view to the campground.DSCF5851 - Copy


The walk in campsites right on the bay and more than usually full on this Saturday.DSCF5855


People come from far away to camp here.DSCF5859



On my last morning at Eco Pond the birds have definitely arrived. 


I imagine it is going to be great here in February.  Birds birds and more birds this morning.   It’s still hazy but they don’t mind.   If you are coming to Flamingo in February you have a lot to look forward to.



















I walk over to the Visitor Center for the last time.  Tomorrow we will be leaving Flamingo and moving North.

How wonderful of this Giant White Butterfly to actually alight where I can photograph him and the blue tip at the end of his antenna.   They are very common here and flit and fly and never stand still.  I’ve been trying to get a good photograph of one for the entire time we’ve been here.   Guess this leaf or flower had what it takes to cause him to stop and stay a while. 
Can you see the blue tip?


Great White butterfly


We spend the early part of our last afternoon under the shade of our beautiful mahogany tree and our awning.




How about this for a view to read by.   Now you can see why we pulled in “backwards”




Check out the size of this Florida avocado David us using to make lunch sandwiches.
And that’s just half of it.






It’s still too hot to venture into the mangroves so this afternoon we take a trip back to Mrazek Pond.





I am standing right on the shore photographing the coots and moorhens, when the illusive green heron flies up and lands on a branch right in front of me. 
It’s amazing.
I stand so still I am afraid to breath.  I could reach out and touch him if I wanted.

Look at those eyes.








This moorhen was doing a little dance.   I only got a couple of steps.







It’s true, I take too many pictures of him but he has all sorts of looks and expressions. 





Joining the moorhens are many coots and again the green winged teal.












It’s a postcard sunset send off!


We get the big orange ball for our last night in Flamingo.  We guessed wrong on which night we should take out the kayaks.  Today things are all put away so we enjoy it from the shore along with lots of the week-enders some of whom have come from Miami for the day and are snapping pictures.










Sunday February 2nd


Just 11 hours later, the sun returns for my very last sunrise over Florida Bay and it does not disappoint.







No Eco Pond or Guy Bradley trail today, I have to go directly back and finish packing up to move on to Big Cypress National Preserve.  But as I pass the scag tree on the way, the kestrel is there to bid me good bye.   What a striking pose he makes.   I feel blessed.






And then we are on our way up the long park road with the Everglades on either side.  We travel through 5 different habitats all based on elevation.   The pinelands are the apex at 4’.  :-)





Once we leave the park, the protection of the glades is no more and they have been turned into agricultural fields; one of the things for which the natural flow of water to the Everglades is being controlled.





Controlled in order to bring these Giant tomatoes to ‘Robert is Here’ where he is showing off his antique vehicle collection this week-end.






It’s just 104 miles, my kind of day, with one stop at Robert’s and we are in our site overlooking the pond with one alligator at Midway Campground in The Big Cypress National Preserve.  
What is becoming our annual visit in the Everglades isn’t QUITE over yet.







  1. Goodness the size of that avocado!!! And garden tomatoes??? it looked like it!!! love all the bird pictures....

  2. The moorhen looks like it is ice skating on the water! Florida avocados are huge. My rental house down there has an avocado tree that was planted along about 1951. It takes a huge piece of equipment with a cherry picker on it to get the avocados off it. The squirrels have a bad habit of taking a nibble out of one that is not quite ripe and then dropping it on the ground. They don't seem to ripen properly after that happens. I wish they would just eat the whole fruit instead of wasting it, but so far my pleas have fallen on deaf ears. Do squirrels even HAVE ears? ;->

    Virtual hugs,


  3. I think it would take me at least a week to consume an avocado of that size!

  4. Holy guacamole! Looks delicious! Love the bird shots and the palm tree in the sunset photo.

  5. I am so enjoying your photos... it's the only sunshine we've seen since we left Disney on Wednesday;o(( The sunset and kestrel photos are my favorite...green heron is cool too:o))

  6. I am totally fascinated by the Robert Is Here market/produce stand or whatever the proper term for it is. Sure hope to visit there one of these days. So many wonderful places like that in Florida. I think what I missed most about our January trip to Flagler Beach was the amazing Friday farmer's market! No strawberries, ruby red grapefruits or ten varieties of oranges for me this year. "Sigh"

  7. I also loved the kestrel. What a beauty.

    Sorry that you had to leave Flamingo, but Midway is very nice as well and I'm sure you'll find interesting things to do like always.

  8. We were at Midway Campground mid Dec. It was our first visit and we really enjoyed our six day stay. Of course, the park was almost empty that time of year. A few overnighters but that was about it. A perfect stay! I had wanted to visit Shark Valley which we loved.

  9. Excellent green heron photos! We stayed in site 16 at Midway, too, back in December. Loved biking Shark Valley, the boardwalks, and driving the 27-mile scenic Loop Road -- great birding everywhere. Looking forward to reading about your adventures.

  10. Now the big fresh tomatoes is what made me perk up. :)

  11. Never seen an avocado that big. I assume they tasted as good as the smaller ones. Beautiful sunrise and sunset pictures.

  12. That was a supersized avocado and tomato. Hope they taste as good as they look.

  13. Wow, I've seen big avocados, but nothing like that! Are they as creamy tasting as the smaller versions?

  14. Mmmmm, fresh tomatoes and avocado...Kinda like being treated to the best in life. AND then the sunset and sunrise photos....a great post for today. Thanks.

  15. Love those sunsets ... don't recall ever seeing an avocado that large! and I've seen lots of avocados .. fun seeing Robert is Here again... ;)

  16. The kestrel is a beautiful bird! He looks a little owlish. The moorhens look like they were painted with matte black paint. Love the butterfly but my old eyes didn't see the blue tips on the antennae- maybe if I get my glasses. Those tomatoes make my mouth water and that avocado is huge!

  17. Lovely birds, lovely sunrise and sunset, lovely big veggies...lovely day to close out your time there!! Love the green heron!


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