DIANA'S BLOG



Big Cypress National Preserve, Southwest Florida


Dwarf Cypress trees along County Road 94 near Ochopee, Florida, in Big Cypress National Preserve

I got up very early and drove south to Big Cypress National Preserve. There is a county road (County Road 94) which runs south of Highway 41 and has some amazing scenery along with lots of birds. Arriving in the early morning hours, I was able to see the beautiful dwarf cypress trees and swamp area along this road. County Road 94 runs for about 16 miles and loops back to Highway 41 near Sharp Valley and the Everglades National Park. I was lucky to have gorgeous puffy clouds and sunny weather on the morning I drove down. I wanted to shoot some landscape shots of the cypress trees and swamp along with some birds. All of these photographs were shot with my new Nikon Z7 mirrorless full frame camera. I love that this camera has 46 megapixels of resolution and can go from being an excellent landscape camera to a wildlife and bird photography camera quite easily.


Dwarf Cypress trees in swamp along County Road 94 near Ochopee, Florida, in Big Cypress National Preserve


Endangered Liguus tree snail (Liguus fasciatus) on tree in Tree Snail Hammock Nature Trail at Big Cypress National Preserve, South Florida

I have hiked this short trail several times before but this time I found that many trees had been damaged by the last hurricane and there were not as many snails as I had seen on previous trips. I will have to keep an eye on this trail and see if this is a trend or if it is hopefully an anomaly because of the hurricane. The tree snails I was able to find this time did not seem as colorful or lively as the ones I had seen before. Still, I was glad to find a few even if they were not in the most picturesque locations.


Dwarf Cypress trees along County Road 94 near Ochopee, Florida, in Big Cypress National Preserve


Purple Gallinule (Porphyrio martinicus) walking on lily pads at Shark Valley, Everglades National Park, Florida, Shark River Slough

I love watching the Purple Gallinules hop from lily pad to lily pad searching for food. They have rather large yellow feet which seem in fact to be too large for the rest of their body. I love the mix of blue and green colors along with the color of the water and water lilies. I watched this guy hop around for quite some time.


Male Anhinga (Anhinga anhinga) on perch at Shark Valley, Everglades National Park, Florida, Shark River Slough


Female Yellow-rumped Warbler (Setophaga coronata) at Shark Valley, Everglades National Park, Florida, Shark River Slough


Female Anhinga on perch at Shark Valley, Everglades National Park, Florida, Shark River Slough


Male Anhinga (Anhinga anhinga) in breeding plumage at Shark Valley, Everglades National Park, Florida, Shark River Slough

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