February 20 – Shark Valley (Everglades) Bike Ride

We took a great bike excursion through Shark Valley into the heart of the Everglades.   Fortunately, the road was paved, smooth and there were no hills to climb; although the wind on the return portion of the trip was in our face.

The first half of the tour ran along a canal which was teeming with wildlife.  Although we’d seen all of the species over the past several weeks in southwest Florida, we never tire of encounters where we can observe and photograph such animals in their natural environment, often up-close-and-personal.

Fortunately for the fish, turtles, birds and other creatures,

the Alligator populations are generally lethargic during the winter months and tend to warm their bodies in the sun and rest during the days,

Note Small Fish in Gator's Mouth

eating only at night.  And we did see scores of large gators …

and even some babies.

Oh, the Florida Red-bellied Turtles

Small lizards,

Brown Anole

Birds,

Wood Stork

Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

Great Egret

Yellow-crowned Night Heron

Snowy Egret

Tri-colored Heron

Pied-billed Grebe

Night Heron

Butterflies,

Monarch Butterfly

Zebra Butterfly

and native flowers.

Swamp Lily

At the deepest point into the Everglades, there is an Observation Tower

from which provides a magnificent 360o view of the grandeur of the Everglades.

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