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Everglades adventure! Part 1

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This is Part 1 of a series 2012-06 Everglades Adventure!

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On Friday, I ventured further south in Florida than I’ve ever ventured before, to participate in the annual meeting of the Florida Society for Ethical Ecotourism (Florida SEE). The above map, captured from Google, shows where I wandered. “A” is Everglades City, Florida. Not many people are aware that part of the Everglades is Gulf-front, in Collier County. This map clearly shows the proximity of Everglades City to Marco Island, which is just off the coast of the city of Naples, Florida. “B” is Chokoloskee Island, which is partly comprised of a shell mound built by Native Americans over the course of a couple of thousand years. Chokoloskee is in Collier County. “C” is Rabbit Key; there’s a tinier island right next to it (can’t see it on the screen shot, but trust me, it’s there) that’s affectionately, if unofficially referred to as “Bunny Key”. “D” is Pavilion Key. Rabbit and “Bunny” and Pavilion are all in northern Monroe County. All three islands (B, C, D) are part of the Ten Thousand Islands area; Rabbit and Pavilion are part of Everglades National Park.

It took about an hour and a half to get to Chokoloskee from my house up in Lehigh. As you can see from the previous “on the road” mobile post, I had to pass through the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge, which is made of of bits and pieces of other lands, including the Fakahatchee Strand, Everglades National Park, and the Big Cypress National Preserve. I went through Everglades City and straight on to Chokoloskee because I was scheduled for an ecotour with Everglades Area Tours, one of the ecotour operators certified by Florida SEE. I was excited to be meeting up with fellow members of Florida SEE and spending time out in the natural world with them. LET’S GO!

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After sitting and chatting a few minutes with the other members scheduled for tours, we split up – some were going kayaking, and two of us had opted to tool around the mangroves with a guide looking for birds. Almost right away, we came upon a group of royal terns named John, Paul, George, and Ringo. Kidding, I just gave them those names about three seconds ago. 😉

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The osprey is one of my favorite critters to look at – they’re just so handsome, physically incapable of taking a bad picture! Naturally, they’ve also been a favorite blogging subject

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Tiny shore birds frolic on a sandbar; we saw a bull shark idling by our boat while we were stopped here. The large landmass to the right is Rabbit Key. The tiny cluster of mangroves to the left is the “Bunny”.

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The advantage of having a guide whose experience with the area extends back some 25-ish years – he knows where to go in the backwaters to find the pretty critters 🙂 How many roseate spoonbills can you count? Click the picture to see the full size version in Flickr!

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A group of 3 (I think) dolphins did a drive-by and started hunting around our boat. This is one of the few times I’ve been lucky enough to get more than a fin while watching dolphins hunt.

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Our Pavilion Key welcoming committee 😉 We spent some time walking the beach and mourning that shelling is not permitted there.

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There was lots of “yard art” on the beach at Pavilion Key. This beat up whelk was longer than my foot and twice as fat. Some of the ones we found were clearly former Calusa tools, with a hole in the side into which a handle was fitted.

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If there was one empty, still-attached set of Venus clam shells, there were a hundred. My friend Christene would have gone NUTS on this beach.

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Mossy yard art! I could have gone on forever photographing these ginormous old lightning whelks, but I’ll spare you more of them.

NEXT TIME: more stuff from the beach on Pavilion Key!


Take me to Everglades adventure! Part 2


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O hai, baby gators!



O hai, baby gators!, originally uploaded by Erin aka Tink*~*~*.

These guys are in a tank in the lobby of my hotel. I do not believe they are um misbehaving in this shot – they are too young for that. They are about a foot long from tip of nose to tip of tail. I think they just like to sleep piled up, like otters. Or it’s some weird dominance thing, maybe. I’ll have to google this later on.

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Dinosaur Week: Is this Chester or Hester?

© Copyright 2010 Tink *~*~*
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02-18-08_1316-WDW-DAK-brontosaurus🙂 This is the last of DINOSAUR WEEK here at My Mobile Adventures *~*~*, and I have a question for you – is this Chester or is it Hester?

In the DinoLand section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, everything is named after these two dinosaurs, but I’ve never been able to work out who is who. While this one looks like a brontosaurus, the other one is more of a triceratops.

Does anyone know – which one is Chester and which one is Hester?

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A petulant poser in the Pangani Forest

© Copyright 2008 Tink *~*~*
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A gorilla on the “bachelor” side of the Pangani Forest in Disney’s Animal Kingdom decides to sulk and turns his back to the camera. Guests are instructed not to establish eye contact or gesture towards the male gorillas, as this can upset them. Someone broke the rules, and after a short period of agitated pacing, the gorilla decided to chill out next to the waterfall.

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