Wednesday, January 16, 2008

First Stop, Everglades

Formally dedicated by President Truman in 1947, these 1 million-plus acres of wetlands are now home to a veritable treasure trove of rare animal and plant specimens – at last count over 16 different endangered species and six threatened species.

As the waters in the Everglades are notoriously shallow and also full of man-eating beasts, one of the best ways to fully explore the flora and fauna is not by foot, but by fan boat, a vessel perfect for navigating the two inch to one foot deep natural waterways. And although it’s loud as hell due to the fact that the boat propels itself using air rather than water (we were given toilet paper to create makeshift earplugs – very high-tech), once the guide cut the motor we were able to drift silently through the miles of gently rippling saw grass without disrupting the sunbathing alligators, gracefully wading egrets and splashing turtles as we glided through the dark waters of the park and into the depths of an entirely different world from the hustle and bustle of spring break Florida. Similar to watching “An Inconvenient Truth” (albeit minus my crying jag at the end to Melissa Etheridge’s “I Need to Wake Up”) seeing these plants and animals and witnessing the beauty of one of our nation’s most glorious parks recommitted me to my intention to lessen my impact on the natural world around me.

1 comment:

coots said...

Sounds like a wonderful start. The beginning of your trip with fireworks and champage sounded incredible! Post more pictures! I especially would like to see pictures of you both -- and pictures of your cabin and around the ship. Oh, wait, your "Diana" model camera isn't digital.

Also, I think you should act out and record one of those Carnival Cruise Lines commercials starring Kathie Lee Gifford.