Loxahatchee Everglades Tour

Loxahatchee Everglades Tours - Airboat ride - 05-17-2014When you have visitors like Curator Jessica from Ohio, you can’t send them back to the Midwest without having seen a gator or two.

Wife Lila and I have had good luck with the Loxahatchee Everglades Tours folks at the end of Loxahatchee Road (used to be known as Lox Road) on the Palm Beach – Broward County line, so I hauled our visitor down there at an unacceptably early hour by my standards. As it turned out, we were a couple of minutes late to make the first boat: the couple in front of us took the last two seats. We killed the time watching a gator swim through a pipe from one canal to another, visiting very clean restrooms and scoping out the displays.

Miz Jessica was willing to pose with a bobcat, the Ohio University team mascot, but she wouldn’t stick her head in the mouth of even a stuffed alligator. There was a sign asking visitors not to touch the displays, so I couldn’t try to convince her to lick the reptile like she did the St. Louis Arch.

Blue Heron having lunch

Loxahatchee Everglades Tours - Airboat ride - 05-17-2014We had scarcely started the ride when we came upon a blue heron chowing down on a small gar. He flipped him around until he was headed down head first. When the boat got closer, the bird decided on having a to-go meal, and flew off with the fish sticking out of his mouth.

 Photo gallery of airboat ride

Here’s a selection of what we saw on our airboat ride. Click on any photo to make it larger, then use your arrow keys to move through the gallery.

Last Gasp of Missouri

Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge before crossing into ILL 05-05-2014Almost every visit I shoot a series of photos when I first hit the Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge leaving Illinois for Missouri, and a series when head back out of the state. (Click on the photo to make it larger.)

No, I don’t shoot and drive at the same time. I adjust the polarizing filter and exposure long before I get to the bridge, set the zoom on a medium length and just balance the camera on the steering wheel with one hand. I shift the angle after I see the image that pops up on the LCD display on the camera’s back. It’s a matter of luck, not particularly skill.

The little green sign on the right side of the frame, just at the crest of the bridge, tells me I’m leaving the Show Me state and entering Illinois.

See you again in the summer.

[Editor’s Note: I’m doing a quick post because I have to get up before the chickens to take Curator Jessica on an airboat ride in the Everglades. I tried to discourage her by describing what would happen if the airplane propeller behind her back broke loose if the boat hit a snag at high speed: she’d turn into a pink spray the gators could suck down with a straw. Ohio Gal thinks I’m kidding, but wait until she sees it.]

Copyright © Ken Steinhoff. All rights reserved.