Everglades National Park
This was the sunrise on my morning walk along Biscayne Bay. Another gorgeous gift from Mother Nature!

Our morning started with a lecture about Global Climate Change by Thomas Dunne who is a professor at the School of Environmental Science and Management in the University of Calafornia, Santa Barbara. Professor Dunne will be traveling with us to Costa Rica to help teach us.

Students, check out this site to learn a little about Climate Change - EPA Kids Site

The Park Rangers at the Everglades National Park were fantastic. Not only did they explain to us about the restoration that is needed to preserve and protect Everglades National Park, but they also took us on tours of the park so that we would understand all that we saw.

The park "is a touchstone against which to gauge the impacts of man on the natural world". It is home to many endangered species and we learned that the introduction of non-native species, disruptive water management actions and the disurbance of natural processes have all worked to undermine the integrity of the historic ecosystem.
Now, check out some of the cool nature we saw in the park!
We saw many of these birds on the Anahinga Trail. Ha, they're called Anahingas. It's a water bird from the warmer parts of North America and South America. This one was having a lunch of a sunfish. Watch it go down his throat!!! Don't you think that's got to hurt!?!

We saw tons and tons of alligators. I asked the ranger if they ever come after people, he said not in the park if you stay your distance. They have a size heirarchy, so on the bridge from above we look bigger and they stay clear. This alligator was showing that he was top dog over a smaller alligator who was trying to get in his space.

By the way do you know the difference between an alligator and a crocodile? Find out!

Bromeliad flower in the Cyress Dome. A Cypress Dome is a collection of Cypress trees. Cypress trees are conifers that adapt to live in standing fresh water and grow in compact structures called cypress domes over limestone.
A Great Blue Heron... maybe he was visiting from Maine, I see Great Blues in Maine, too!

This picture is from outside the Cypress Dome. We all just stood in awe from our experience in the dome. More about Cypress Domes

Being in the dome was like being on Yoda's planet in Star Wars - remember? Dagobah! The dome had a peaceful, magical feel to it even after we followed alligator tracks in the mud and found the alligator!


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