We have really been enjoying the warm days here. We have had a couple of days with highs of 85. I felt a little guilty (not really) when I talked to my daughter in Austin and it was icy and in the 20's there and we were running our air conditioner.
After our morning trip to Eco Pond, we left the campground to drive 30 miles in the park to the Anhinga Trail at the Royal Palm Visitor Center. This trail is on the other end of the park as you enter.
It is a beautifully developed trail and it did not disappoint us.
As we drove to the trail, there were quite a few Woodstorks in the tips of the trees. It was pretty amazing to see such a large bird perched in the top of a tree.
We stopped at the Pahayokee Overlook where you can see some contrasts of the ecosystem, from grasslands
to canopied forests in a few steps.
We passed this sign and had to get a picture. It seemed really funny to us after being in the west and northwest this summer.
Next stop, the Anhinga Trail. We were so amazed at how close you could come to the animals there. As long as you came up slowly and quietly, you could get close enough to touch them.
Here's a black vulture. One interesting thing we learned in one of the ranger talks we attended was that the vultures mate for life.
Here is a Great Blue Heron in its plumage.
From this point, you can actually see where the ecosystems meet, grasslands to forest.
Here's a Purple Gallinule.
I had to add a picture of the trail's namesake, the Anhinga. This one just stayed on the rail as we walked by it.
Of course, the alligators were out as well. We saw them in the water and there was this one right on the trail. I have to say we walked on the other side as we passed it, but it didn't move. We certainly didn't want to test it though.
There was also a Roseate Spoonbill
and Stilts in the water.
A Woodstork stretched out its wings.
I didn't mind posing with this alligator in the background. It was far enough away from me.
As we completed the trail, we caught this gator with its toothy grin.
We were close enough to the entrance of the park now that we drove into Florida City to visit Robert Is Here, a very well known local fruit stand.
They have a large variety of fruits, many from the Caribbean. They also have fresh fruit milkshakes in a variety of flavors.
We both got the Key Lime Milkshake and it was delicious!
It was the perfect treat for the warm afternoon.