Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The everglades - Florida

As a young girl I used to watch a show on TV called “The Everglades”.  It was exciting to see the airboat gliding over the “grass” on the water. Now I know that this sawgrass prairie is the primary feature of the everglades. The everglades encompasses a huge area; it is a two million acre wetland ecosystem that reaches from central Florida (near Orlando) all the way to Florida Bay in the south.  When my brothers and I were planning a trip to the everglades, we were pleased to learn that the Sawgrass Recreation Area in Weston was just 30 minutes away.

When we bought our tickets for the airboat ride, they also gave us earplugs; I would soon find out why. When we boarded the airboat, the first thing we were instructed to do was to put on the earplugs; the guide then started the airboat’s engine. We could feel the powerfull vibration of the motor but everything was muffled.

The rubber gator

The guide warned us to keep all body parts inside the boat; the sawgrass blades are sharp and at the speed we were going, we could get nasty cuts. He also told us that, if we were lucky, we might get to see some alligators up close! Oh, I would not mind at all if we did not see any. So we skimmed over the water, slowing down at times, stopping in some places and waiting for alligator sightings. The ride was over and we had yet to see a single gator. I was thinking that with all the noise that the boat was making, the gators would surely be getting out of our way.

So back on land we decided to check out the “mini-zoo” where they had gators and other reptiles, as well as other animals. I’m not really a zoo-person so the small animal exhibit was just right. The highlight for me was when I got to hold a baby gator! (It’s mouth was taped shut so I was fine.)

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