25°19’29.77″N 82°47’59.63″W elev 0 ft
Everglades National Park, Homestead, Florida, 33034, Near Flamingo Visitor Center and Campground
This is one of my favorite places on Earth.
The short cuttakes about three hours, stopping to take pictures. The full trail takes about five hours, once again, stopping to take pictures. Low and narrow mangrove tunnels make it technically challenging. We use Cannon Wave 4 piece breakdown paddles that we shorten while in the tunnels. When we called ahead to make sure the pond wasn’t dry (it being March and the dry season in Florida), we were told to watch out for nursing gators, but the only gator we saw was the one that hangs out near the edge of the pond by the parking lot. Here’s the National Parks Service trail description: http://www.nps.gov/ever/planyourvisit/upload/9-Mile-Pond-Canoe-Trail-2.pdf
It waddled away from me as I chased it with my camera.
I think this is a Double-Crested Cormorant. It could also be an Anhinga, but the Audubon Society says the feet of the Anhinga are pink, and this guy’s feet are clearly yellow.
Don’t these red mangrove look like many-legged animals? Like millipedegroves?
The Paurotis Palm.
Bladderworts in bloom, like Chinese lanterns, floating on the water.
That’s periphyton in the water in the foreground of this picture. I love scooping up pieces and squishing them in my hand.
Isn’t it incredible how clear the water is? You can see a fish and its shadow!
Mangrove tunnel! The pole on the right is a trail marker.
Where the marsh meets the hammock.
The Halloween Penannt. “Sexual activity normally occurs between 8 and 10:30 am, and males will normally wait for females to come to them around the edge of ponds, whilst perched on a weed” (Wikipedia, “Halloween Pennant”). Isn’t it amazing how much scientists have learned about this planet we live on!