This massive beehive, complete with buzzing inhabitants I didn’t get close enough to for you to see in the photo, was along the shore on Fisheating Creek, a lovely waterway that winds through extensive cypress swamps and hardwood forest hammocks in rural Florida west of Lake Okeechobee. It’s just south of Palmdale (blink and you’ll miss it). The two youngsters in our group counted 40 alligators during our four-hour paddle (hey, it kept them busy). Birds were plentiful: wood storks, great blue heron, yellow-crowned night heron, anhinga, osprey, kingfisher, little blue heron, tricolored heron, and egrets of all sizes. And a huge flowering bush full of Monarch butterflies.

It was good to get back out into Florida nature after a season in the Northeast, but I was reminded it is not advisable to paddle too close to shore, as I do in the north. As I rounded a bend with the left side of the canoe brushing the weeds there was a tremendous thrash, crash and splash just in front of me and the boat rocked with the waves that were kicked up as an alligator scrambled to get into the water and out of my way. I was glad I was moving slowly and I was glad I didn’t have a bow partner along when it happened.

This trip was put together by Sierra Club outing leaders from three different groups here in South Florida, the Loxahatchee Group, the Broward Group and the Miami Group. We were joined by a couple of folks from the Suwanee-St. John’s Group, up in Gainesville.




I’m the tall one in the back of course.

IMG_1193c IMG_1194c IMG_1211c IMG_1206c IMG_1214c IMG_1215c IMG_1219c IMG_5466c IMG_5475c IMG_5482c IMG_5485c IMG_5499c IMG_5502c IMG_5505c IMG_5508c IMG_5515c IMG_1207c IMG_1205c IMG_1196c


About Ron Haines

Find me at https://ronhaines.wordpress.com/
This entry was posted in Nature, Paddling, Sierra Club. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to UnBEElievable!

  1. Denise Hurt says:

    Wow is all I can say! We are still paddling but with nothing more than ice to contend with. No gators up here or huge hives. Jealousy of the birds.


  2. Thanks for sharing these great photos! It was a lovely day. Janet


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