Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida

Big Cypress National Preserve was created in 1974 from 720,000 acres of wet cypress forest and grassland. It is not a National Park, the Miccosukee and Seminole Tribes of Florida still live here, Off Road Vehicles are allowed and hunting is permitted in some areas. However, it has the feel of a National Park and has several trails and visitor centers of interest. We found a campground at Burns Lake which, though ‘primitive’ provided a beautiful setting for our home and travel hub for a week. We were surprised to find alligators so close to people, and also interested to find that some bluebirds, instead of freezing the winter out in Maryland, became snowbirds and traveled to Florida. While touring in the area, we found the smallest Post Office in the States at Ochopee in the Wildlife Preserve. Cheryl also managed to find a new friend, ‘Benny’ and provided babysitting services for our new friends Tony and Mona Rothschild.

It’s turned hot here in the Everglades and, because of the high amount of rain this dry season: 1) The mosquitos are out, and 2) The bird habitat is vastly larger than normal and so slim pickings at any one spot. To combat mosquitos, we purchased a brilliant device that entertains us in the evenings. It’s called a ‘Jolt’ aSee explanation *1nd is about half the size of a tennis racket, same shape. It can deliver megavolts with the right aim, behaves like the Bug Zappers you are familiar with. Here’s a photo of it in action wielded by Cheryl. It has a red light when activated
and the white dots are ‘kills’.
See what entertainment we have when the TV reception is nil and the internet slow.
Burns Lake Campground
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Shark Valley Tram Tour

We took a tram tour at the Northern entrance to the Everglades National Park and were introduced to more of the bird and animal life in the area.

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Pole Boat Tour

We felt that a traditional Air Boat Swamp Tour (advertised all over, very noisy) was the last way to see the wildlife in the area so we found a company that ran Pole Boat Tours. A ‘pole boat’ is a flat bottomed punt moved along with a long pole (well known to me with my Cambridge background). It was a very peaceful two hour trip, just the two of us plus Jules our ‘driver’ and I’m sure we were able to see much more and get a better feel for the swamp ambience. Jules claimed the company had researched the boat design in Cambridge so I offered him a few points on his poling technique.

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Kirby Storter Roadside Park

We loved this park which had a long boardwalk over the swamp (and a good cell signal).

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More Bird Life

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  • Big Cypress National Wildlife Preserve

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