An Everglades Adventure~Part 3

8 Oct

A Slice of Life

BIll Lites

Bill Lites

 

That evening after supper, we built a campfire and were enjoying “S’mores” when we heard rustling in the brush around our campsite. Now we were all veteran nature lovers, but, we had heard tales of what kind of critters called the Florida Everglades their home, so were extra 1cautious. As it turned out, it was a mama Raccoon and her three little ones looking for a handout. We tried to discourage the children from feeding them, but you know how kids love furry creatures, and they don’t realize how dangerous wild animals can be. We shooed them off, knowing they would surely be back to try their luck again. It was a fretful night for me since it was a strange place (many of the night sounds were different from those we were used to in our woods at home) and I kept waking up, worrying about the raccoons coming back and trying to get into our food.

After breakfast the next morning, the ladies packed a picnic lunch, we all covered ourselves with sunscreen, and insect repellant and headed off with the canoes to see what we could see. It was a beautiful day and birds of all kinds were everywhere. DiVoran was especially thrilled to get to see her first Rosette Spoonbill and we all were excited to see a nest of Pileated Woodpeckers.

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There were egrets and ducks of all kinds, on the water and in the air, and we had a contest to see who could name the most correctly. Of course, being in the land famous for alligators and snakes, we were constantly on the lookout so as not to be surprised by one of them. By the time the sun was high overhead, we were tired of paddling, so we found a small clearing, beached our canoes, and shared our picnic lunch with the ants, flies and mosquitoes. Then it was time for more sunscreen and insect repellant. We found our way back to the boat landing and decided 25 cents was not too much to pay for a shower.

 

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If you have ever done any camping, have you ever noticed how the mosquitoes seem to attack much more after you come out of the shower? I don’t know what it is about a clean body, but for me, the race is on to see if I can get to the insect repellant before they can find me. Earlier we had seen some very unusually shaped old dead trees not too far from our campsites, so we spent some time scouting the area for driftwood.

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That evening, after supper, we sat around the campfire and Dwayne showed our daughter, Charlene, how to play cords on the guitar. We had another visit from the raccoon family, but they didn’t stay long this time, as the boys chased them off.

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So much for our “Everglades Adventure.” We all agreed this sort of “Primitive” camping was not exactly what we had in mind for a relaxing weekend camping trip. The next day we packed up all our equipment, canoes and children, and began the long drive back to Titusville. Other than being long and hot, the return trip was uneventful (if you can ever begin to call 4 adults being cooped up with 5 kids for 6 hours in a hot car, uneventful). We stopped for lunch and potty breaks, but didn’t stop in Melbourne for my car, since we couldn’t pull both the camper and the car. I would have to make that trip another day, and that is a  story in itself that I will have to share with you some other time.

 

 

—–The End—–

One Response to “An Everglades Adventure~Part 3”

  1. Louise Gibson October 8, 2014 at 11:53 am #

    wHAT A GREAT ADVENTURE, BILL. I TREASURE THE MEMORIES I HAVE OF EARLIER DAYS WITH SIMILAR EXPERIRENCES. HEARTWARMING!

    Like

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