Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Everglades - by Nicholas

Two Alligators Swimming 
The wetlands and marshes of the Everglades help define the Everglades. Thus, water also plays an important role in the Everglades. These are the elements that are most well-known about this national treasure. However, one must keep in mind, like most other national parks, the park features an assortment of wildlife, both rare and rather common. For one, the Everglades are the only place in the United States with both American alligators and American crocodiles. But this is not all the park has to offer. Manatees, dolphins, panthers, coral reefs, birds, an abundance of fish, and even sharks call the Everglades home. 

A Crocodile by Florida Bay
When we visited Everglades National Park during winter break, not only did we find the lush scenery in sub-tropical Southern Florida, we were fascinated by the amount of wildlife this park supported. While the sights may not be as grand as other parks (although some would disagree with me on this), it is, for the most part, true. There are no geysers, like Yellowstone, no towering mountains, like Yosemite. Countless black, white, and red mangroves do get boring sometimes. However, there is no doubt in my mind that the Everglades are equally as spectacular. It is because the main attractions are so elusive and rare, that seeing one gives such a thrill, such excitement (although not quite as much with crocodiles and alligators). When viewing such an animal up close in the wilderness for the first time, you feel elation beyond that of seeing a mountain, which is constant and unwavering. The hunt begins to see these amazing creatures. Seemingly simple acts (for the animals), such as crocodiles eating, ospreys snatching fish out of the water, become what you have come to look for. The scenery isn't half-bad either. Mangrove islands, and the blue-green ocean outside, and the swamps, filled with mangroves within. It is then when you realize, the Everglades are a national treasure, along with all other national parks. The wilderness and beauty deserve to be protected and preserved so that both we and future generations will be able to enjoy the parks as I did and have done. That is why I love the Everglades and its inhabitants. The wilderness truly is amazing.

The Alligator just swallowed a fish

Feeding on a catch at home

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