Weekly Wanderings #44 – Ft. Myers

florida-alligators

Florida alligators in the Everglades. Photo credit: Sel & Poivre Photography

It’s been a super fun, jam-packed week! Monday we visited the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, a 2.25 mile nature trail created by the Audubon Society. We saw birds, a beautiful dragonfly and some adorable raccoons. They were much smaller than the huge city raccoons we had trouble with in Berkeley!

It’s a shorter walk but I still prefer the Six Mile Cypress Slough (which we visited twice last week). We saw a lot more birds there.  In reality the best time to see large flocks of birds is December and January, we are just a little early, but I have loved all the variety we have seen!

The rest of the week we spent our time at the Big Cypress National Preserve and Everglades National Park. We did several walks and drives to spot birds and alligators.

I saw more alligators this week than my whole entire life! They are everywhere in the Everglades!

Some of the bird calls sound so prehistoric, at times it felt like we were driving through Jurassic Park! Photographing birds other than the white pelicans we ran into in Yellowstone, is a new subject matter for us and trying not to scare them off as you approach definitely takes talent!

I also have more mosquito bites since we arrived in the Ft. Myers area than the whole year combined! They don’t seem to be as prolific as Central Oregon, where they were attacking us in huge swarms, but they are getting their bites in, the sneaky bastards!

While in the everglades in Big Cypress I spotted a bobcat. When I first saw it, she ran into some trees and disappeared. We pulled next to the tree we last saw her and waited. She came out, crossed the road to get a drink, re-crossed to our side and ran along the grasses to just about our Jeep, then disappeared back into the trees, she looked at us the whole time, it was awesome!

florida-bobcat

Florida Bobcat. Photo credit: Sel & Poivre Photography

Yesterday we had little bit of misadventure in the Everglades. We got up early for a sunrise shoot at Big Cypress. The day before we’d seen a patch of Cypress in the water that looked beautiful in the sunlight. It was on a backroad drive. We’d seen a ton of alligators and blue heron as well. The hubby had captured a lot of birds but the blue heron eluded us so we hope to catch one.

Just after sunrise, at a little after 7 am, we got a flat tire. On a back country dirt road. With no cell service. We had a spare so that wasn’t a problem, it was just a little nerve wracking to change the tire when we were sitting between two canals full of alligators!

flat-tire

It’s funny, Mr. Misadventures and I have been together for 15 years and we’ve never had a flat. I’ve been driving for 30 years and never had one! It could have been worse, we could have been trying to change it in the sand of the Bisti badlands or Borrego Springs!

We decided no more off-roading for the day (and I’m actually writing this from the tire shop as we decided it was time to change them!) so we headed to visit Shark Valley in Everglades National Park. It was so awesome! We took a two-hour tram ride which was super informative and we saw a few things that we had yet to see.

Like a red-shouldered hawk which happened to be killing a snake and two sets of alligator babies. They were so cute!

florida mama-and-baby-alligator

“Okay mama, you guard that side and I will guard this side…” Photo credit: Sel & Poivre Photography

We got off the tram the last mile and walked. It’s a fifteen mile path for bikes and trams and we wished we had one more day to do the trail with our bikes.

The reason we don’t have one more day is that today we are on the way back to the Space Coast. I’m really excited! Tomorrow we are going to the Kennedy Space Center to see a rocket launch at the LC-39 launchpad we visited a few weeks ago. While on our tour, we learned you can buy special launch event tickets near the launchpad (the public also has access from stands in the main park).

There was a launch set for November 11th but it was scrubbed due to weather. After we got to Ft. Myers I checked online to see what the new date was and it’s this weekend! I called to get more information and was told the tickets had gone on sale that morning and that they were only 20 left, I feel blessed that I called when I did. Anyway, that’s what we’re doing this weekend! Marking an item off our bucket list!

Monday we head to the Florida keys for ten days.

Current location:

Woodsmoke Camping Resort, Ft. Myers, Florida.

That was my week, how about yours?

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Comments

  1. Wow, I’ve only ever seen a lone gator here and there throughout my extensive Florida travels. Love that gator pile you found!
    Kristin @ Camels & Chocolate recently posted…Dixieland Delight: An Alabama Fall Road Trip

    • Andi Fisher says:

      @Kristin, you need to visit Shark Valley in the Everglades and Big Cypress, we saw more than a hundred. The first day I kept calling out “alligator” every time I saw one, there were times I didn’t finish saying the word alligator before I saw the next one. By day three it was like seeing a bison in Yellowstone, they are just every where. Even on the drive through I-75 in the area they call alligator alley, if you are the passenger and keep and eye on the canal on the side of the Interstate you will see them there, not in the same numbers, but they are there!

  2. I have been to Shark Valley! Such a cool place. My husband and I had a flat tire together before we were married — on the long haul from South Georgia to Nebraska to visit family, I was driving when we got a flat tire. At midnight. In East St. Louis. In December. It was NOT fun.

    • Andi Fisher says:

      @Katie, did you bike or tram in SV? I loved it there! What time of year did you go? That flat tire situation doesn’t sound good, but I guessing there aren’t many “good” flat tire situations!

      • We just walked around on some of the boardwalks for a bit. My sister lived in Ft. Lauderdale at the time and we took a day trip. We made sure to stop and eat at that random (Cuban?) place on the drive out — I’m sure you saw it!

  3. Great post! The gators look intimidating too.

    xx Leesa & Kate
    Travel inspiration? http://www.wanderlustchronicles.com.au

  4. Wow–you two had some up-close-and-personal encounters with the Florida wildlife this week! Florida has much of the same wildlife that I’ve grown up around, and gators and bobcats both terrify me. One of my father-in-law’s friends was actually knocked out of a tree by a bobcat while hunting a few years back! I am SO jealous that you get to go to a rocket launch–that’s on my bucket list! Can’t wait to read about it!

    • Andi Fisher says:

      @Natalie, hard to imagine a bobcat would grab a man, they seem so small! The rocket launch was pretty amazing, I’ll be writing a blog post about it.

  5. Maryrose Attard says:

    Great pics with very impressive close-ups. Well done!

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