The first thing that was surprising about this park is the complete lack of mosquitoes! The second thing was how close you were to the wildlife. Really, really close. Like seeing the whites of their eyes, close.
This was our first National Park and since we planned on visiting many more before the year is over, we bought the America the Beautiful pass to cover admissions. We also made sure the kids got their passports stamped that our thoughtful friends Rebecca and Jonathan gave them. This was the first time participating in a Junior Ranger program and due to some grumbling, it was a required activity for our field trip. Turns out the park had run out of badges when the kids were done so they will be mailed to us. Bummer.
We spent close to 2 and a half hours on the Anhinga Trail, which is less than a mile long, because the wildlife was so riveting. After that everyone was pretty hot (it was over 80 degrees out), tired and hungry and not particularly interested on hiking and looking at trees. *Boring* So we skipped the rest. The ranger agreed that the Anhinga Trail was the best option for kids and everything else was pretty dull.
They must feed the animals very well because not only were they very used to our presence, they didn’t make a snack of anyone. There were signs posted to leave the animals alone or be fined up to $5000. (In case the sharp beaks and strong jaws weren’t enough of a deterrent).
All photos by Mr. S — and no, he didn’t use a macro lens!