This 4th of July and past weekend I spent time in Everglades National Park where I am currently living. Everglades is the largest tropical wilderness area in the United States, the third largest national park in the contiguous U.S., and home to a plethora of wildlife including over 350 species of birds, 300 species of fish, 40 species of mammals, and 50 species of reptiles. It has been a great joy to be in such proximity to the park and get to explore it.

Roseate Spoonbill

 

Brown Pelican

 

Tri-Colored Heron

 

Great White Heron

 

West Indian Manatee

 

Butterfly Orchid

 

“There are no other Everglades in the world. They are, they have always been, one of the unique regions of the earth, remote, never wholly known. Nothing anywhere else is like them; their vast glittering openness, wider than the enormous visible round of the horizon, the racing free saltness and sweetness of the their massive winds, under the dazzling blue heights of space. They are unique also in the simplicity, the diversity, the related harmony of the forms of life they enclose. The miracle of the light pours over the green and brown expanse of saw grass and of water, shining and slow-moving below, the grass and water that is the meaning and the central fact of the Everglades of Florida. It is a river of grass.”

-Marjory Stoneman Douglas, The Everglades: River of Grass, 1947

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