One of the most relaxing parts of the Everglades trip was spending extra time at Lostman's Five. Two nights was just about perfect for recuperating from the paddling of the past 3 days. The wooden platform that was built upon the site meant we were able to sleep perfectly flat. Best of all, we paddled up towards the freshwater Glades, began seeing alligators and birds......lots and lots of birds.
On the first morning (second day) at Lostman's Five, we woke up to find a Black Vulture sitting atop the porta-potty. Apparently the terrible odors wafting out smelled more like breakfast to the bird. Before eating breakfast, I had good shots of a Turkey Vulture flying over as well as a Brown Pelican. While not an avid birder, I do enjoy seeing and taking pictures of birds. Basically this means that I like to see them but can't always accurately identify them which is kind of nice. I prefer to keep some of my hobbies uncomplicated.
Alligators appeared with regularity, often sunning on the banks, sometimes floating half-submerged while keeping a cautious eye on us. Some of them were rather large, or at least, it seemed so to us. A canoe can suddenly seem rather small when it is sharing the water with an alligator nearly as large. Still, they are generally shy and did not pose any serious problems.
Our hopes to paddle all the way to pure freshwater were not realized as we ran into a dead end pond with the water still brackish. On the way, we saw many birds as well as lots of fish. A particularly large snook had me wishing I had been fishing upstream instead of paddling. By the time it rocketed past the canoe I knew any hope of catching it was gone.
As the afternoon wore on, we all started to get hungry. Returning to camp, we spent the remainder of the day relaxing, eating a good meal, and preparing mentally for the big day ahead of us.
After eating, I tried to be creative with the camera. The next day was going to be tough and I wasn't sure if I would have many opportunities to get the camera out once we made it to the big water along the Gulf of Mexico.
As evening descended, a large alligator swam slowly past camp and up Lostman's Creek.
Can you find the alligator in this picture?