Miami Journal – Monday, February 16, 2009

Besides doing “office” work in my room, I took part of the day off to go birding west of Miami, in the Everglades.

I took an air boat ride into the Everglades. Learned that the Everglades is not only a “river of grass” but is also a true river, albeit a very slow one. It moves only half a mile in a day, but it does move. The water flows from Lake Okechobee, north of here, through a vast area of south Florida and into the ocean at the very end of the peninsula. It is the widest river on earth – 90 miles at its widest!

In the air boat ride and then later driving along Highway 41, known as the Tamiami Trail, I saw snail kites (a very rare bird, raptor), kingfishers, white ibis, wood storks, both turkey and black vultures, anhingas and several kinds of herons.

Also saw several alligators. Learned that an adult alligator can outrun a horse (for a short distance) and leap nine feet into the air! These things I learned from the air boat driver, not from personal observation! Blessed by this information, I gave up all notion of wrestling a gator and tying him up.

An alligator can live to age 75 or, in captivty, even 100.

The world is filled with marvels, all the work of a wise and powerful Creator. I find immense delight in what he has made.

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3 Responses

  1. Pastor Was thinking of you during the stay in Cameron,LA. MDS site first week of February when en route to the work site I saw a Kingfisher clinging to a bush above the marsh. Time for photography was very limited however due to the fact daylight hours were used in construction. The son of the couple we were building the house was sharing his alligator experiences with us and paralleled your findings too. I have more respect for them now! Nelson

    • Nelson,
      Seeing a kingfisher dive into the water for a meal is a striking sight. Even more striking is to see, as I did on Tuesday, pelicans (who are huge) do the same thing!
      John

  2. I love reading of your adventures. You are so colorful in your descriptions that I am almost there.

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