Everglades National Park, established in 1947, was the first park created not for its scenic beauty, but to protect a unique and fragile ecosystem:
“Here are no lofty peaks seeking the sky, no mighty glaciers or rushing streams wearing away the uplifted land. Here is land, tranquil in its quiet beauty, serving not as the source of water, but as the last receiver of it. To its natural abundance we owe the spectacular plant and animal life that distinguishes this place from all others in our country.” President Harry S. Truman at the dedication of Everglades National Park, December 6, 1947.
Yes, this is a swamp, but it is a beautiful swamp, swarming with life. In our few short forays into the wilderness, we crossed paths with countless creatures: alligators and egrets, snakebirds and storks, fish and flies. I suffered from a rare case of lens-envy; many of the other visitors were wielding lenses as long as my arm! Still, I got a few good shots:
On to the Keys! Click here for Everglades, Part 1: Nearly Stranded in the Picayune Strand.