Saturday, December 17, 2011

Big Cypress National Reserve…

Mama Gator with two babies

bald cypress reflectionsBonita Springs Florida isn't real close to the everglades but that didn’t stop us from making the 150 mile round trip to Big Cypress National Reserve into the heart of the Florida Everglades . The drive to the reserve is not overly scenic along the way but once you are nearing there you can tell you are in some place special.

From the first time we first noticed the signs to the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge until we saw our first alligator we knew this place was different than any we had visited before… Having studied about the everglades in college it was a pleasure to actually get to visit the place before it is completely compromised.

The continued draining of the everglades that has been ongoing since the earlyRed Maple leaves 1900s has converted much of the wetland ecosystem to land ready to be farmed or developed. It may be a necessary evil of our growing society but it is sad to see in reality nonetheless. The vast sheet of water that covered the everglades is but a remnant of what it formerly was…

The protection of the lands in this part of Florida is essential to the populations of endangered and threatened species. Not to mention these swamplands may harbor the next known cure for cancer or other diseases in one of the plant’s chemical makeup that has yet to be discovered. The beauty of the remaining wetlands and the density and diversity of the flora and fauna found in this area are all testaments to the pioneers who have helped preserve this land.

BromiliadsThe Big Cypress National Reserve has several nice hiking trails and interpretative boardwalks that visitors can enjoy. There are also a couple of roadside parks that RV’ers can reserve and boondock in. We drove through them and they are nice and quiet parks and at this time of the year only had a few guests. If you are looking for a quiet and scenic place to boondock going from Miami to Fort Myers or visa versa this is a nice place to stop for a few days to explore the everglades from. But watch out for the ever present skunk apes

nice teeth...NOTE: Hovering your mouse over a picture will identify what you are looking at and if you want to see a larger picture just click on the image…


  1. I knew there were campgrounds there that had electric that you were first come first serve.

    We're looking for an overnight place on the way to the Keys the day after Christmas. Do you think we'd have a change of getting a site? We'd be happy with just a place to park.

  2. Skunk apes? That guy sounds like he's got a screw loose. :)

  3. Nice capture with the mama gator and her young. I've seen them separately, but never together.

  4. Great pictures as usual! We'll be headed down that way in February and hope to stay in the campground. Think I'll skip the skunk ape guy.

  5. Boy, I sure hope you took those photos with a strong telescopic lens. Wouldn't want to be anywhere near that close to those critters. They can move pretty fast.

  6. I appreciate your comments on the destruction of the everglades. Kudos to all those people who work so hard to preserve what is left. Great photos, especially the mama gator and her babies.

  7. Rumor has it that the Everglades are being overrun with pythons that people raised as pets and released. Did you hear anything about that? Wondered if it was true.