Bucket List Item: Everglades National Park

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I scratched a bucket list item off this holiday season. Going to Everglades National Park. A friend of Ramon’s, and avid fisherman, invited us to fish in the park with him. He hadn’t been fishing in the keys since before the hurricane season this past year.

“Dude all of these trees were lush the last time I came here. I’ve never seen the mangroves stripped back this much. Look. That key right there in front of us. You can see all the way to the middle… it’s not supposed to be that way.”

A few facts: Everglades National Park is a 1.5-million-acre wetlands preserve on the southern tip of the U.S. state of Florida. Often compared to a grassy, slow-moving river, the Everglades is made up of coastal mangroves, sawgrass marshes and pine flatwoods that are home to hundreds of animal species. Among the Everglades’ abundant wildlife are the endangered leatherback turtle, Florida panther and West Indian manatee.

I didn’t see a turtle, panther, or manatee… but we did scare a 6-foot shark as we zoomed past on a flat bottom boat. The window for great images, while the light was good, happened just before sunrise until an hour or so after. Once the light was “funky,” I packed the camera away in a dry place and let myself be a part of the moment. By the end of the day, we had a cooler filled with freshly caught Red Snappers, 13 total. And booooy was the fish fry that night delicious!

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