You can take the GRITS out of Florida, but you can't take Florida out of the GRITS!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

My Weekend in Big Cypress

Every year some geocaching friends of mine have an annual camping event at a remote campground in the Big Cypress Preserve. This year, there were 4 of us making the trip...my two sons and my friend Lj from Pennsylvania. My littlest one was so excited about camping. All I heard for 2 weeks prior to leaving was "We go camping?" "I go camping, Mommy?" "We sleep in tent?" etc....

This was the view not far from the back of our campsite.



Friday evening, the squirt was really whiney and just plain tired, but would not lay down and take a nap. I decided we needed to go for a drive. No one else wanted to go. everyone wanted a break from the crying 3 year old, so it was just me and Aidan...driving down the road that leads to the campground and looky what we saw! Gee, it's kind of far away, but c'mon...you can guess....

It's a PANTHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I zoomed in as much as I could and cropped the next picture. Terrible, but you can definitely tell what it is.

OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Seeing this guy made one of my lifetime dreams come true. Awesome, totally, completely awesome. They are rare in South Florida and I bet 99% of the people here have never seen one in the wild. I feel very fortunate to have been in the right place at the right time. I just wish my other son and Lj had wanted to come along for the ride!
The next day, we went in search of a geocache located in the Fakahatchee Strand...a very humid, swampy, buggy area. Sounds awful, right? But it holds many treasures. One that we found was this orchid. I believe it's a butterfly, but not 100% sure. We also found what we thought were ghost orchids, but they turned out to be ribbon orchids. *Deep sigh, heavy depression* Well, I DID get to see that panther, so I can't complain too much.

I'll put up some more pictures tomorrow.
.....And for those curious, no, we never found that cache. Over 6 hours in the swamp and we camp out empty handed. Tired, sore, a bit bloodied and bitten. Maybe we'll try it again one of these days.



10 comments:

JG said...

I am SO jealous...Finding a panther in the wild is also one of my life goals...you were very lucky to e in the right place at the right time...sorry about "Ghost Orchid"...

Anonymous said...

Nice Possum!

It.z said...

Question: How do you put up with anonymous? hehehe
Answer: The same way that I do!

I would have loved to been there with you to see a panther in the wild. WOW! sums it up for me.

SwampAngel65 said...

The above "anonymous" is not the usual "anonymous"...it's a jealous FGA board member. hehehehe!

it.z, you would have had a great time! Try to make it next year. You may have to leave Corky at the hotel with Ana, though.

Anonymous said...

I wish I had a blog so I could post all the pic of the moons I got ROFLMAO.

Floridacracker said...

Super!
You're right about most of us never seeing that!

lisa marie said...

That sounds like a great time! The panther too cool! Too bad LJ missed out! :) Have her tell you about the cache we took forever finding in the frozen woods and how when we did find hte baby food jar its lid was frozen on and she took of her gloves and patiently held her warm hands on it until my hubby could unscrew it. Oops, guess i just told you. It was funny but at least we got to sign a log. Actually, we didn't the log was wet/frozen popsicle. :)

SomeCrankyGuy said...

WOW! I can't believe you actually saw one! Awesome!!!!

I love all of your photographs. Keep posting them!

SCG

Laura said...

Whoa, one of MY life long dreams has been to see a panther in the wild! I've always said I doubt I could take the photo... my heart would be pounnding too much.

Beautiful orchids!

Sandcastle Momma said...

That panther is so cool! My mother and sister saw one at Cape San Blas near Port St Joe years ago but I've never been fortunate enough to see one. Caching in Big Cypress sounds like a lot of fun.