Friday, May 20, 2022

I see boat tours in our future.

Taking a quiet day today, Friday.  It's cloudy and been sprinkling off and on.  Yes, it's still very hot out.  

Pat's reading a Clive Cussler book.  Today I finished Jenny Doan's (Missouri Star Quilting Company) book, How to Stitch an American Dream.  Earlier this week I read Sara Paretsky's newest, Overboard.  I enjoyed both.  Paretsky's V. I. Warshawski series is one of my favorites.  Jenny Doan is one of favorite quilters, storytellers, and all-round good human beings.  

This afternoon I went to check out the Sandal Outlet here in Key Largo that I have seen numerous billboards for.  After we got there, Pat said it wasn't special, they were everywhere.  Oh well, they did have a lot of sandals, as well as beach wear, t-shirts, and souvenirs.  I bought nothing. 

Tonight, thanks to our son and live streaming, we watched our youngest grandchild,  Clara, graduate from preschool.  I shed some tears!

Our task in Florida was to make it to three National Parks, cross off a bucket list item, and attempt to see some other wants in 2 weeks.   Oh, and find a dairy-free key lime pie. We decided to make sure we got to the National Parks, so on Thursday we headed northeast from Key Largo to Biscayne  N.P., then east to Everglades N.P.

95% of Biscane N.P. is water, which means a boat tour was in order.  We looked around the Visitor Center and decided to come back another day for a boat tour.  That's scheduled for Sat.

On to Everglades N.P., the largest subtropical wilderness in the U.S. There are 3 non-connected entrances.  We are only conquering one on this trip.  We entered via Coe Visitor Center east of Homestead, FL and ended up following the park road to the south end for a 3 p.m. boat ride.  We checked out some trails on our trip south but didn't have time to hike any today.  We plan to go back though.  

Not every day you see a panther crossing sign.

There are only around 100 panthers left in south Florida.

Two trails we want to come back to were here.

We did not see any cars covered.

A vulture

We encountered narrow and larger bodies of water on our boat tour.  All were less than 5' deep.

The naturalist on our boat tour incorrectly called this Grest Egret an Ibis.

A 10'ish crocodile.

Osprey nest

The red mangrove is the most common of the 3 varieties in the Everglades.  Mangroves provide stabilization, prevent erosion, and provide habitats for birds, fish, and reptiles.  They have roots that make them look like they are standing on water. 

The Ibus has a curved lower beak.

Thursday's sunset.

The cloud formations here are quite interesting. 

A small Barracuda
Where are the Piepers now?  Key Largo, FL

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