Big Cyprus NP (Cont)

I hiked on Gator Hook Trail off the Monroe Loop Road inn Big Cypress National Preserve. Visited the Sweetwater Strand and other locations near the Monroe Loop Road. These are the results of visiting those areas.

As usual, my early morning sojourns started in light fog conditions. This view of Big Cypress NP reminded me of a national park that I worked in in Thailand: Thung Salang Luang National Park in North Central Thailand. Thung Salang Luang is the last area in the Kingdom of Thailand where savanna habitat exists, a grass/pine tree life zone.

Red-bellied woodpecker(Melanerpes carolinus). Just off the Gator Hook Trail. The red-bellied woodpecker is a major predator of the invasive emerald ash borer* in the U.S. Midwest, removing up to 85 percent of borer larvae* in a single infested ash tree.


Morning dew on Bald Cypres leaves, shortly after breaking bud. From a distance, they look like simple leaves, leaves that produce a single leaf from one bud. But in fact they are compound leaves that look like Coastal Redwood leaves.

After Bald Cypress leaves open completely the look like this, very similar to Coast Redwood compound leaves.

Bald Cypress tree stems with their fluted bases that help hold them erect in wet, and/or inundated soil.

Typical Big Cypress National Conservation habitat: grasses and Bald Cypress in wetland areas. These open areas, or glades are how Everglades National Park got its name.

External fruiting bodies: shelf fungi on rotting wood. The wood is rotting because it is infected by a fungus.

Duck Potatoe(Sagittaria latifolia), with bee. A bog plant Duck Potatoe grows from a tuber, producing two different kinds of leaves. and the pictures blossoms.

Male Florida Red-shouldered hawk(Buteo lineatus). A paler color variant of the West Coast variant.

Florida Red-shouldered hawk opening it’s wings to get rid of parasites and/or to dry them out.

Unidentified dragonfly on the Gator Hook Trail.

Same Species as above, different angle.

Published by sabaiedmsncom

I am a former park ranger, and coastal dune preserve manager, now retired and photographing the places that suit my wanderlust. I usually have a general idea of where I want to travel to, but once on the road I just follow my nose: it seldom steers me wrong.

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