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---------------- The Everglades ----------------

The Everglades National Park covers a huge area. We had initially planned to drive from Naples, which is above the upper left corner of this map, to Flamingo, which is at the end of that red line representing the only road in the center of the map about a quarter up from the bottom. The AAA representative in Naples told us that we would get a good sampling by going to Shark Valley, upper right portion of the park, and Everglades City, on the upper left. So, that is where we went.

---------------- Shark Valley ----------------

At Shark Valley, our first alligator sighting came early on our first walk. This one had not moved nearly an hour later when we returned.

This was typical of many informative signs posted along the path. We did hear the frogs but the closest we came to actually seeing one was an occasional splash in the water.

The ripples visible in this photo show that this water is never still, but constantly flowing on its way to the sea.

Alligator number two was larger and not far away.

This butterfly's coloring blended right in with his surroundings.

The shell on this turtle was over a foot long. They can move swiftly in the water.

We saw thousands of these tiny flowers.

The small alligators are always very alert. These were not small enough to be prey for the larger birds, they were still looking very cautious, and ready to slip into the water.

Our good friend Regina tells us this is an Anhinga.

A "scrunched up Great Blue Heron"

This little guy was out on his own.

This Ibis had just spent several minutes grooming himself while perched high in a tree.

The Museum.

A demonstration on alligator wrestling.

---------------- Everglade City ----------------

We had lunch here.

The power companies build nesting platforms for the birds to prevent them from building nests too close to the wires.

The Smallwoods store is now a museum. This is where the trappers sold or traded their pelts and outfitted a hundred years ago.

---------- Fort Meyers/Edison-Ford Museum ----------

These magnificent trees adorned the parking lots.

A model of Edison's electric launch "Reliance," an apt name.

Annamarie and Aldonna, best friends in high school, had not seen each other for thirty five years.

---------------- Naples Beach and Pier ----------------

A Brown Pelican.

A Royal Tern, possibly.

---------------- Key West ----------------

This was our ferry.

The trip took 3.5 hours both ways so we had time for a train tour through town, lunch, a tour through the Truman White House, and this one photo but nothing else.

--- Sanibel (Ding Darling) and Captiva Islands ---

---------------- Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary ----------------

Mourning Doves.

A Barred Owl was sitting just over the walkway. We would have missed it if one of the Audobon staff had not patiently pointed it out to us.

A Red Shouldered Hawk.

---------------- The Naples Best Western ----------------

Landscaping and sculptures around the grounds.

Restaurant next door. We ate there our first night.

Hardware to protect the building in hurricanes.

There were 14 of these 8 foot long nested channels to span between the steel brackets all stacked in the corner of the patio.

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