Tomorrow, I'm escaping from the sodden, cold Pacific Northwest to -- the sodden warmth of Florida. Maddeningly, the forecast for central and south Florida, where I'll be spending time, involves rain for the first 9 of the 13 days I'll be there. But unless the rains are desperately torrential, I will not be swayed from my two primary goals: great images of an alligator and an anhinga.
I'm considering a visit to Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge, but if time is too pressed, I'll settle for the avian pleasures of Eco Pond or the Anhinga Trail in Everglades National Park. These are trails that, while relatively close to civilization and populated with many humans, are fairly bursting with life. At both places you can sit, very still, in front of a tripod-mounted camera and just wait for something to come along. It always does. I could while away whole days in either place.
Yes, I'd rather do a paddling trip up the river and camp on the chickies*, but an opportunity to do that is scarce these days. Until that can be arranged, I'll happily visit Eco Pond.
*Chickies are small, raised platforms on which to camp, designed to elevate the camper above the high-tide water and all that slithers within. However, Hurricane Wilma apparently destroyed many chickies, and I don't know whether they're to be replaced or not. Perhaps I'll put the question to a ranger.