This weekend I ventured down to the Everglades National Park, where I explored the oh so popular Anhinga Trail. This place was incredible! If you ever find yourself in Southern Florida, Anhinga Trail is definitely a must see. The trail itself is 0.8 miles long round trip, and includes boardwalks over the water and several nice lookouts with benches. It's also wheelchair friendly and great for the little ones because of its short distance and variety of wildlife. I started my day early and made it there just as the sun was rising. I was the only one on the trail for a good thirty minutes. The water was still and the alligators were out! I saw at least three or four in the first ten minutes. They got relatively close, which I was thankful for since my longest lens was a 200mm. If you go with the intentions of photographing the wildlife, like I did, I would highly recommend you bring the longest lens you have. Not to be taken out of context here, but honestly, the longer the better. I did ok with my 70-200mm, but it would have been nice to have something with a little more reach to get some nice close up portraits of the birds and gators.
The trail was so short and easy to walk that I looped around twice. The first time I lugged my tripod, several other lenses, water, and bug spray. I found myself walking fast, just to get back to the car to drop everything off. The second time all I took was my camera with the 70-200mm and my car keys. I walked much more slowly and found a lot of little things I didn't see the first time around. Don't get me wrong though, bug spray and water are a must! I got bit three times within minutes of getting out of my car. After that I reapplied like crazy and maybe only got bit once more. I also wore long pants, which was tolerable in the morning hours, and definitely helped out. I've always seemed to attract mosquitoes, so whatever I can do to keep them at bay is worth it to me! Must be the sweet Irish-Italian mix in my blood :) I hope you enjoy the photos! If anyone would like to share any other great trails in the Everglades for photographing wildlife, please leave some suggestions in the comments or stop by and post to my photography fan page. I'm new to the area here and love exploring new sites! Thanks to fellow photographer, Andrew Benedict, for recommending this trail :)
These little buggers were all over! Once I saw one, I started seeing them everywhere!
Not only was there an abundance of wildlife, but the reflections of the plants on the water were stunning.
More reflections on the water...