Everglades National Park Guided Swamp Tromp Part 2


Guided Swamp Tromp
Part 2





Florida Birding

Florida Everglades

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Swamp Tromp Into the Slough

Walking through the razor grass and muck is like wading through a field of small gray sea slugs.

It's the most off-putting thing about the slough slog experience until our guide explains the importance of the glop that covers the bottom and floats on the surface.

Gathered at the edge of a cypress dome, we learn the glop is called periphyton. It's an algae at the lowest level of the food chain that feeds the snails and other critters, regrettably even the mosquito larvae. It is an essential element in the park's ecosystem.

Next, we shuffle inside the cypress dome. We're dozens of miles from the coast so I'm surprised to see a couple of red mangroves growing beside the cypress trees.

Apparently they're reminders of Hurricane Donna in the 1960s, which blew mangrove seeds this far inland.

Birds don't seem to appreciate our intrusion into the small, isolated forest; we don't hear any bird songs or bird calls. Alligators and none of the area's 27 types of snakes, 4 of them poisonous, are not present, either. Thankfully.

?If you do come across a snake that doesn't want to get out the way, figure it's poisonous,? says our guide, who acts as our point man.

The slog ends uneventfully, as every swamp tromp should.

The deep marl doesn't pull off any shoes, no one falls into the muck, and the mosquitoes must have already lunched because they are surprisingly scarce.

While my shoes will recover, my muddy white socks can never be used again. Or at least not until my next swamp tromp.

When To Go - What to Take

Swamp Tromp Part 1

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