These beautiful Florida Everglades photos and post are brought to you by Little Moments.
"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks." -John Muir
There is a zoo that holds many memories from my childhood. It was filled with exotic animals that do not typically live in the part of the world I grew up in. That was the draw, seeing with your own eyes what you may never see otherwise. It was exciting, but I realized later in life, not the same as being in an animal's true territory.
My family ventures to different parts of the country, exploring each place the military sends us. In our travels, one of our favorite places to adventure are nearby national and state parks. Caves, mountains, bears, "oh my!"
Our latest trek was through the Everglades. This landscape is more than just a swamp.
The Everglades cover over a million acres of south Florida. The area has three separate entrances. With a couple of days to explore, we began our first hike in a place called Shark Valley. One side of Shark Valley is grassy, and the other side follows a waterway filled with wildlife.
Birds, bugs, alligators, turtles, and snakes may not sound appealing, but it was amazing. We walked among them, in their element, their territory, just feet away with nothing in between us. We were able to freely observe them in their homes, behaving in ways I'm sure they don't necessarily act behind glass. It was exciting to walk along, to suddenly discover a camouflaging creature, or to witness a bird in-action fishing right in front of you.
The Royal Palm Visitor Area didn't disappoint either. It has a boardwalk that winds through marshland. Birds were soaring and wading. Alligators were sleeping, swimming, and digging. Various species of lizards skittered along the path. Colorful snails were "hiding" in plain sight and vultures were lurking nearby.
With the freedom to roam the Everglades comes the responsibility to not disturb or touch the wildlife, and to be aware of our surroundings.
It is a great place to help children learn why we "leave no trace behind." But at the same time, it allowed us to leave a mark on our children for preservation. Nature is a great teacher.
"In the end we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught." -Baba Dioum
There are other family opportunities to enjoy the Everglades; ranger tours, biking, camping, and canoeing. Check out the National Park's website for additional information on kid's activities in the Everglades.
Do you have a favorite National or State Park? Have you ever been to the Everglades? Share your favorite experiences with wild animals on their turf below!
Heather is the author of Little Moments, a military wife, and mother of two boys; Aidan (six years old), and Devin (two years old). Her family loves exploring their surroundings, wherever the military sends them. Most days they enjoy block building; wooden blocks, magnet blocks, Lego blocks, cardboard blocks, tree blocks....yes they have a lot of blocks! Blank surfaces are their inspiration when it comes to creating, but above all, work is play in their family.
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