Friday, February 22, 2013

Shark Valley

The Shark Valley entrance to the Everglades is very popular. We passed it by twice because the sign said the parking lot was full and to expect long delays. So we decided to go first thing in the morning when the gates open at 8:30. There was already a line, but we got in without delay. Many were here to photograph wildlife in the canal by the Visitor Center.
We decided to take the wildlife viewing tram tour through the sawgrass prairie. Our tour guides have been married 58 years, and have served as guides and interpreters in many wildlife parks.
We saw tons of alligators, but got to watch these in mating ritual.
Walking on tiptoes they circle.
We learned this white stuff in the water has an important role in keeping the water clean and producing oxygen. 
Healthy alligators are black. This one is sick, and will likely become some other critter's meal soon.
Roseate Spoonbills are very elusive (at least when I'm looking for them), but we did spot one at a distance.
So you'll have to suffer through 3 pictures of him.

These scientists are testing the mercury levels in the water.
Our tour includes a stop at this 65-foot tower. we were told we had 15 minutes to climb it, take photos and return to the tram.
There was only one obstacle to that plan...
This brave tourist persuaded the gator to step aside.
A view of the Everglades from here.
And below the tower much activity. The bird in flight is a wood stork.

This Great Blue Heron has a big catch.
Great Blue Heron and Night Heron 
Many alligators were sunning in the road.
Back by the Visitor Center, the serious photographers were settled in for a long stay.
Focusing on birds like this Purple Gallinule.
Which, as Birdie would say, is a "life bird" for me.
By the way, there are no sharks in Shark Valley.


  1. Are you sure that was a "brave" tourist and not a dumb one that didn't know how fast alligators can move? lol Great tour. Thanks.

  2. Awesome Liz!! Thanks for the tour!

  3. Wonderful trip. No sharks, huh? You didn't mention why they call it "Shark Valley." I"m with longdog2 on the alligator comment. Brave? Nuts!