The first evening we went to a small boardwalk and watched Anhingas settling in the treetops for the night. This was the first time I noticed the light purple feathers that are longer and fluffier on the back of the males' head and neck. (click on photos to see them larger)
After watching the Anhingas, we drove along a rather bumpy 17 mile road (the same road on which I had seen a panther two years ago). We didn't see a panther, but we did see an owl in stark silhouette against the setting sun. As we sat in the car and watched, the owl moved closer and closer, always perching in the crooks of dead trees. At one point on the drive we turned off the car, opened the windows, and sat in silence, listening to the night sounds and watching fireflies, with not a light in sight and no sounds of traffic or people. The night was brimming with life, and we sat in silence allowing it to quiet and fill our souls .
The next morning we took the Thousand Islands National Park Boat Tour- a wonderful time of fresh air, birds, and mangrove islands.
|Anhinga with a big fish|
After our boat tour, we had lunch at the Havanna Cafe on Chokoloskee Island.
|The view from our table|
|Painting the bougainvillea and palms|
When the sun was a bit lower we headed back out to the Big Cyprus Bend Boardwalk, which wends its way over half a mile through swampland.
|Straight up a taaalll tree trunk|
|Barred Owl beside the boardwalk|
|Strangler Fig- starts life as an epiphyte, then grows downward and grows roots|
|Mama or Papa Bald Eagle flapping on their HUGE nest|
|Great White Egret at the end of the boardwalk|
The next morning we headed back to the Marsh Trail before turning homeward, and we both saw our first Mottled Duck! We also saw several Roseate Spoonbills flying over and one posing nicely near the pathway.
|Blue-winged Teal and Mottled Duck|