florida-cracker-with-whipflorida-cracker-with-whip

Everglades The Last Frontier

Sea of grass, rivers, swamps and Palm TreesSea of grass, rivers, swamps and Palm Trees


City


Free


Animals

Preserves
Parks


History


RVing


Frontier


Crackers


Swamp


Eco
Kayaking


Alligator
Farm


Airboat
Tours

When you visit Everglades National Park, you have reached the last frontier of Florida

Florida's Everglades, the world's only "river of grass," still present a wildlife spectacle difficult to comprehend without a visit. 

The living heritage "Florida's last frontier."

I would like to think we can preserve this original Florida for the our children and our children's children. 

The Glades have been unalterably changed by the water demands of Miami and Tampa, as well as by runoff from Florida's agriculture industry.

The great flocks of birds -- the egrets, wood storks, spoonbills and herons -- have been vastly reduced in size.

And many alligators are born with physical abnormalities, possibly linked to pesticides and fertilizers used by agriculture.

The federal government is spending billions to buy land and add it to the park before it disappears into suburbia.

Sunrise in the EvergladesSunrise in the Everglades

During the summer rainy season, water overflows from Lake Okeechobee along its southern shoreline, moving southward across sawgrass marshes and other wetland areas.

Canals dug long ago to funnel water to the cities are being rerouted to their more natural, meandering channels. 

Despite the adverse impact on the Everglades from Florida's unbridled growth, vast amounts of fresh water continue to flow out of Central Florida into the saw grass prairie of South Florida.

The Everglades offers a protective area for some fascinating animals and reptiles to flourish.

One such animal is the sea cow or manatee, aquatic mammals which normally inhabit saltwater.

During the winter months, when the Gulf waters and Atlantic ocean grows cold, they will enter the rivers and clear springs for warmth.

Their formidable size and weight can run up to 13 feet and 1300 pounds.  

Although their size is intimidating, the manatee is known as a timid animal with a mild disposition


One of the most famous reptiles of the Florida Everglades is the alligator.

Floating like a half-submerged log or lounging in the sun on the edge of a canal, no where is the alligator more at home than in the Everglade

The American alligator is a large aquatic reptile and is one of two crocodilians native to Florida. Alligators can be distinguished from the American crocodile by head shape and color.The American alligator is found in the United States from North Carolina to the Rio Grande in Texas. Alligators are usually found in freshwater, slow-moving rivers. They also live in swamps, marshes and lakes.

The alligator can be found in most of the bodies of water in the swamps of the Florida Everglades.

It is a protected species in Florida, although there is a hunting season on the alligator, which is done on a lottery system to control the species.

Alligator tail is a long-time delicacy of the South Florida area.

The meat is tender, juicy and low in cholesterol.

Habitats

Small changes in land elevation are responsible for the varied habitats with the Everglades ecosystem. These habitats include:

A one-hour ride by tour bus, from the Shark Valley visitor center to a viewing platform in the heart of the Everglades, would take a month by the flow of the river.

The Everglades, as tour guides point out, are not a swamp. They are a 100-mile long, 60-mile wide river of clean water that moves ever so slowly across the limestone of South Florida into Florida Bay.

The landscape as far as the eye can see is no more than a few feet above sea level.

The flow of water in the Everglades is barely perceptible -- about aquarter mile per day.

Everglades Frontier

Click any of the Stories below
 And Travel to Florida's Magnificent Everglades.

Florida's Magnificent Everglades - A small group of visitors clusters at the edge of a pond behind the Shark Valley Visitor Center in Everglades National Park. Two minutes of visiting the Everglades and the first gator had already been spotted. Try spotting a bear that fast in Yellowstone.

"CRACKER" The term stems from the early days when Florida cowboy cow cavalrymen, in lieu of the rope used by Texas cowboys, welded a bullwhip, 10 - 12 feet long made of braided leather, and when snapped over a cow's head, made a sharp"crack".
Thus was born the term "cracker"

Romancing the Swamp Local eco-tour provider wades into the Florida wild. Scared of the swamp? Intrigued by the swamp? Then explore the swamp. It will forever change you.

"Square Grouper" - Historic Everglades City 

The Hidden History of Everglades City as Florida's last frontier

Everglades City Florida Was The Square Grouper Capital at one time in the recent past.

In the 1970's and 1980's, Everglades City and Chokoloskee became notorious for their trade in "square grouper", a euphemism for bales of marijuana.

Everglades Stories - We’re trying to find ways to restore wetlands and to do it in a way that will really benefit the water quality when it finally does leave the land and also to store the water there and not sort of pipeline it straight into Lake Okeechobee and pipeline it into the everglades.

The Square Grouper - Through the Everglades to a shore about 20 miles to the west of Flamingo, called Cape Sable.and was said to have a pink beach literally made from shells, and also was habitat to the rare and elusive Cape Sable Sparrow, which we all wanted to see.

The Calusa Shell IndiansThe Calusa (kah LOOS ah) lived on the sandy shores of the southwest coast of Florida. These Indians controlled most of south Florida.

The population of this tribe may have reached as many as 50,000 people.

The Calusa men were tall and well built with long hair. Calusa means "fierce people," and they were described as a fierce, war-like people.

The Seminole Tribe of Florida The Seminole people are the descendents of the Creek people. The diversity of the Tribe is reflected in the fact that its members spoke seven languages- Muscogee, Hitchiti, Koasati, Alabama, 


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