Introducing The Everglades
To the uninitiated, the Everglades might appear to be nothing more than a big swamp full of alligators and the place where they occasionally find dead bodies on CSI: Miami. First of all, it’s not a swamp; it’s a wet prairie. It may be splitting hairs, but swamps have trees, whereas the Everglades only have tree islands. It’s also not stagnant, as some people believe, but creeps slowly – verrry slowly – towards the ocean. You will see alligators – lots of them – although they won’t be wearing chef hats or driving airboats as the campy roadside signs will have you believe.
The Everglades is an incredibly unique ecosystem, a subtropical wilderness that supports creatures such as endangered American crocodiles, bottlenose dolphins, manatees, snowy egrets, bald eagles and ospreys. And amid the mangroves, cypress, hardwood hammocks and miles of sawgrass, there are endless opportunities for hiking, bicycling, canoeing, kayaking, boating, camping and fishing.
The Everglades has two seasons: the wet season and the dry season. And it makes a big difference which it is when you visit. The dry season is the prime time to visit – from December to April – when the weather is mild and pleasant and the wildlife is out in abundance. However, in the summer wet season – May through November – it’s hot and humid and there are frequently afternoon thunderstorms. The animals disperse, but the bugs don’t; they’ll be looking for you. The one upside to the wet season is that you won’t be sharing your experience with as many tourists.