Thursday, January 17, 2008

Shaking it in Shark Valley...

Shark Valley - Off Tamiami Trail, Miami

A few weekends ago, my Uncle was in town en-route from New Hampshire to Barbados. Unlike his 10 Bajan traveling companions, he was not in the mood to shop (we're similar that way), so I invited him to come on a bike ride I had planned the next day. He agreed. I picked him up from the hotel, and we took off for Shark Valley - a tram road in the Everglades National Park, about 25 or 30 miles outside of Miami.

First, I should probably tell you, the Everglades is NOT a swamp. Its a river... 'The River of Grass' as famously dubbed by Marjory Stoneman Douglas in her book The Everglades: River of Grass.

It's seasonally dominated by a shallow, slow-moving sheet of water that flows from Lake Okeechobee to the Gulf of Mexico and Florida Bay, and its home to a vast variety of plants and animals, though regrettably, no sharks;-)

The ride around the park is a leisurely 7 miles up to a -very space age looking - viewing platform, followed by a slog of the first degree back to the parking lot! Bring Water.. LOTS of it!

First up, were these little beauties.. aren't they cute?!

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Then, this one.. 'scuse the shakes - I may have been a bit close! You're not supposed to go more than 10 - 15 ft away from the gators, but that is just impossible on this road! Plus, my brakes were not quite up to par...
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I love this bearded old man! He may be my favorite. Hey.. it's thistle! The last time I saw you, I was in the Scottish Highlands! Who've thunk it?!

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These 2 are older and wiser, and must be sick of the gawking! Either that or they're seriously lacking manners...
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Buzzards.. did you know they smell sweet? Its true, I saw it on Animal Planet.


My true favorite, is this perfect pair...

S-Bend plumbing.. via the Everglades!


killemallletgodsortemout said...

Thank you, L-J. I loved this post; those reptiles are just great.

On a bike ride here, if you look carefully, you may see lots of discarded lesser-crushed coke cans, the common (or garden) McDonaldus cartonus and lots of broken wheel covers. These are to be found lurking in the English hedgerows.

France however, is different.....

Daisy said...

we have plenty of thistle here jane...come on up...well, wait till the summer...right now EVERYTHING is dead!

Lady Jane said...

Killem.. that's sad.. but v. v. funny at the same time!!
Would you like to write a post on this blog one day? I can make you an author if you'd like?

Daisy, I have longed planned a trip to the Sept food festival in Chicago that has never panned out. Maybe this year!

killemallletgodsortemout said...


I wouldn't know where to begin, but I feel rather flattered. Thank you.

Purely by coincidence, I e-mailed your papa yesterday. Feel free to grab my address from him, should you so wish.

Lady Jane said...

Killem, I know, he mentioned it.
(I was only a wee bit jealous;-)

Offer remains open if you ever choose.