See you later, Alligator …

Musings, Nature, North America, Photography

Our winters here in the Pacific Northwest are generally a wet, overcast and grey skies kind of affair. There have been times, when the sun wasn’t visible for well over a month! The positive side of all the precipitation is, of course, lush beautiful forests, rivers, lakes and snow covered mountains.
During one of those gloomy and dreary winters, we escaped to Florida for a short vacation. We flew into Fort Lauderdale and traveled by car all the way down to Key West. We spent a few days there, visited a bird sanctuary along the way and on the way back up, we spent a night in Florida City at the Everglades International Hostel, explored the area around Everglades City, and then checked out the Everglades National Park.

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The resident cat and a great egret greeted us at the entrance of the Laura Quinn Wild Bird Sanctuary. Magnificent wood storks with their bald, black heads and dressed in long white plumes appeared to be unafraid of human visitors. A large congregation of egrets, both the great and the snowy, were grooming their plumage in a grassy meadow. Brown pelicans curiously checked me out from the safety of their roof top. This sanctuary is big, and houses many different species of birds, many of them recuperating until they are ready to be released back into the wild. Others are live out the remainder of their lives at this sanctuary due to permanent injuries and an inability to survive on their own.
If you love birds, it’s definitely worth a visit!


We got glimpses of playful, giant manatees peeking out of the water, white ibises waddling through grass and turkey vultures sunning themselves atop a gazebo. In Florida City, the hostel we stayed at had papaya and starfruit trees! A few pieces of fruit  came home with me in my suitcase!


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There wasn’t a whole lot of time to explore the Everglades. We did enjoy some nature walks, on which we encountered lots of  alligators basking in the sun. On a boat ride, we went past numerous pairs of osprey, guarding their nests, terns, cormorants, herons, egrets and a few bald eagles. On a future visit, I hope to kayak through some of this terrain!


Key West is an interesting place to visit. We stopped by the southernmost point in Florida, the Key West Nature and Butterfly Conservatory, ate delectable Cuban food and indulged in a piece of Key Lime pie!! A brilliant sunset on our last evening in Key West made for a memorable romantic evening walk, and a perfect ending to our quick winter escape.


Florida 2010 Sabine 414



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My passions in life are vegetarian cooking, gardening, photography, writing, good books, traveling and nature. Thanks for stopping by, Sabine

17 thoughts on “See you later, Alligator …”

  1. I’m always curious as to what people think of Florida. I can’t handle the humidity or the bugs. But those butterflies are just stunning. Tried to see your other insert. Maybe a video. My browser crashed each time I clicked on it. I’ll wait till TS gets back and see what he thinks is going on. I spent 4 years living in Georgia and I don’t want to get warm bad enough to go back. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh wow, these photos are just so gorgeous! Close-ups of birds, that perfect sunset… and an alligator that looks like he’s smiling in one picture. I would so love to visit this place, the Everglades. Is that a wild orchid? We have orchids in our apartment and I love them. Papayas, otters (hope they’re not on the alligators’ diet!)… wow. Hope I get to visit one day. Thanks for the beautiful tropical post, it was a feat for the eyes! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • All the things I love in one place! The orchids grew outside in the garden of an inn we were staying at one night in Key Largo. For me, the best time to visit there is winter time, when it’s not scorching hot and humid. Definitely worth visiting if you can! We stayed away from all the big cities, in part because we only had a week there. I think you would like it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. christine says:

    Great pics… I love seeing the ibis, and I have been thinking about seeing the everglades for a while…. You inspire me!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was a quick trip, we had points for free airline tickets and needed to feel a little sunshine on our faces! You inspire me too with all the amazing things you’ve done! I am very happy to have a wonderful friend like you! 😀


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