Monday, January 30, 2012

The Marsh Trail, Big Cypress National Preserve

As the name suggests, the Marsh Trail in Big Cypress National Preserve navigates through a marsh, which is a favorite habitat of many birds. During a short, maybe 40-minute walk we saw many wood storks, anhingas, cormorants, egrets, and herons, as well as a group of American coots.

American coots


A wood stork

Of course, there were alligators too, and one of them was even quite active. It was swimming around always keeping at least one eye on us, with an expression of superiority and evilness on its face. Even though it wasn't too big, I still preferred to keep my distance from it. And as we were walking deeper and deeper into the park, I kept looking back over my shoulder, worried that I might see an alligator lying across the path we just hiked, blocking our way back. I was wondering what our options would be if that would happen, as the trail was narrow and surrounded by water on both sides. Luckily, we didn't get to act out this scenario.

An alligator

In the park, we also saw many pretty butterflies. They must have been affected by the afternoon heat too, as they were not flying too much, and were conveniently posing for pictures.
Queen, Danaus gilippus

White Peacock, Anartia jatrophae

Mangrove Buckeye, Junonia evarete

The Marsh Trail in Big Cypress National Preserve is located on the south side of the Tamiami Trail, 13 miles west from the intersection of Hwy 41 and SR 29.