We were in the Flamingo campground of Everglades National Park for Christmas. We had made our reservations in August, but when the federal government shut down, we were concerned, so we called them. It turns out there were no rangers, so nobody was collecting the $25 park entrance fee, but the gates were not locked. We had already paid the campground fee. Their concessionaires were operating the visitor center and keeping the facilities functional. This is considered the busy season for this park, and they get a lot of international visitors (who were predominantly Chinese on this trip).
On the first day, we went canoeing to Snake Bight, the bay to the left as you paddle out the channel. We followed that small unmarked channel along the shoreline as far as it would go – technically further because the water depth was probably about an inch less than our draft for the last half of our route. It is really soft mud in that section, which cut our cruising speed to below two miles an hour. It was an incoming tide; otherwise, one would have to be careful not to get stuck. If you tried to get out of the canoe, you would sink up to your knees. And if you did get stuck, you would have to wait for the next high tide, which could be up to twelve hours later.
We did see and get pictures of many birds feeding on the flats, including plenty of Roseate Spoonbills (sorry, no flamingos this time). Below is a picture of Nancy at work. As you can see, the “channel” is to our right and the mud to the left. Ahead is a flock of White Pelicans. This channel would peter out just a little ways ahead – still too far away to get good pelican shots.
Fate Of The Osprey Nest
The Osprey nest that was the subject of Nancy’s current favorite image, Osprey Family, is gone. Hurricane Irma blew over the whole snag fifteen months ago.