Everglades Swamp Tromp (Slough Slog) - Everglades National Park Ranger Tours Part 1

Everglades Swamp Tromp (Slough Slog)

One of the messiest--but closest--ways to understand the Everglades





Florida Birding

Florida Everglades

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Swamp Things

That's what the 6 of us on an Everglades swamp tromp (or slough slog) have become. swamp things, as we follow our guide on a tour into the primordial goo of the Everglades.

Rather than admire a cypress dome from the roadside, we have decided to tromp through the sea of grass and stand in the middle of it.

I test the spongy Glades bottom with my walking stick before each step, determined not to sink up to the armpits. I ponder the age-old question: Why am I here?

I guess because a swamp tromp (slough slog) is a good way to experience South Florida's Everglades National Park up-close and personal..

Back at the van that ferried us here is a stack of towels, for what our guide calls "just in case." He should know. Anyone not paying attention to where they step could trip and do a face plant.

On a recent trip he sank deeper without realizing it when he stopped to talk to a group about the Glades' ecosystem. As he went to step forward, he was immersed in his subject. We do not want to follow our leader into his subject so deeply.

Actually, we find more hard limestone bottom than deep holes in the marl bottom as we shuffle mummy-like toward the trees.

It's been dry recently, so the water only comes up to our knees. Normally, it would be waist deep here.

We're in the section of Everglades National Park known as the Dwarf Cypress Forest, located between the visitor center and Flamingo. At first glance it looks like a fire swept through here, but it's only because the trees are shedding their reddish needles, as they do every fall.

In winter, the dwarf cypress will be bare, dead looking, before sprouting green leaves in spring. These dwarf cypress, many not as thick as my calf, may still be hundreds of years old. Poor growing conditions have stunted them so that many are only 3 feet high..

Swamp Tromp Part 2

When & How To Go Swamp Tromping

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