Sunday, February 14, 2016

FLORIDA: Jackson Jason Jennifer & Sylvia Go to the Everglades

EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK: S and Baby J work on their Junior Ranger book.

Almost certain you aren't supposed to ride the Florida panther statue, but I didn't have the heart to stop him.

We were at the Anhinga Trail for 30 seconds before we met our first Florida alligator.

Everglades scenery: the sea of grass

Big gator, a foot or so off the trail.

BISCAYNE BAY NATIONAL PARK: Most of the park is underwater so we took our time enjoying the visitors center.

Junior Ranger!

Even more junior Junior Ranger!
We were honored that the park ranger let the boys help raise the American flag over the park after the rain cleared for the morning.

In Homestead, Fla., we visited the grave of Elizabeth Weston Godwin Plummer, Jackson & Jason's great-great-great-great aunt. 

If you are ever visiting Florida, the Fruit & Spice Park is a terrific destination for kids. Highly recommended.

The boys try out star fruit for the first time.

The park shares a taste of the many exotic fruits that grow there. You can also pick up and eat anything you find on the ground.

A multitude of bananas and plantains from around the world.

Jackson uses his coconut.

Jackson meets his first jackfruit.

I was there too! Jackson took this photo of me.

Apparently my great-aunt and uncle used to docent at Corkscrew Swamp. A wonderful walk if you're ever in the area.

Jackson on the Corkscrew Swamp boardwalk.

Airplant in flower.

Corkscrew Swamp scenery.

Corkscrew swamp gator.

This is a bittern pulling a snake (black racer? garter?) off a reed and eating it for dinner.

Kids and grandma on the boardwalk.

We were watching a raccoon eat leftovers that had fallen below a birdfeeder.

Jackson checks out a model of a manatee skeleton.

There were 150+ manatees in the water the day of our visit to Lee County Manatee Park. The park canals are adjacent to a power plant outflow drain, and the manatees like the warm water in the winter when the Gulf of Mexico is cold.

Those lumps in the water? Manatee sexy beasts.

Jackson clowns around at BIG CYPRESS NATIONAL PARK.

Picnic after another visitor center and boardwalk.

Jackson took this photo of the Big Cypress sky.

Junior Rangers at their last swearing-in ceremony of the trip.