Archive for the ‘Everglades’ Category

Everglades, 2016

Foto by Iliana

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.”



Everglades, 2016

Foto by Iliana

“Certain periods in history suddenly lift humanity to an observation point where a clear light falls upon a world previously dark.” ~Anne Sullivan
Everglades observation tower

Everglades, Flamingo Park, 2016

Foto by Iliana

The  miracle of light pours over the green and brown expanse of saw grass and of  water, shining and slowly moving, the grass and water that is the meaning and  the central fact of the Everglades. It is a river of grass. ~Marjory Stoneman Douglas


Everglades, Flamingo 2016

Foto by Iliana

Foto by Iliana

“The sun set, which is everyday magic…”
― Terry Pratchett

Foto by Iliana

Foto by Iliana

                   The very winds whispered in soothing accents, and maternal Nature bade me weep no more. ~Mary Shelley


Foto by Iliana

Foto by Iliana

Step with care and great tact ,and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. ~Dr. Seuss



Foto by Iliana

Foto by Iliana

May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.

~Edward Abbey

Save the Internet share image

Been following this story for a while now because the Internet is important to me. I rested a few days and came back to this horrid news that steps are in place by the FCC to kill Internet neutrality. I’ve provided the link below and at the end of this post, there are more links. I’ve found the energy to read and research today. I beg you do the same if the Internet means anything to you because C-H-A-N-G-E is coming. Your access to the Internet will be limited. Yes…more limitations upon us.

After much thought that began even before today, I find that I digressed when I last evolved on the blogosphere because I feared confrontation. Sometimes one must take a step backwards to go forward. Confrontation? Now I squash it. How? I won’t read it and will delete any posts I deem inappropriate. So, I will begin doing what it is I wanted to do with blogging–open eyes through my Rabbit Hole, which is here. Yes. You are in my Rabbit Hole. But, you are only in the top portion. All the juicy stuff is a bit deeper. In fact, and as you well know, the deeper you go, the juicier it gets. It is all up to you.

Yes. We all want to see only the beautiful, feel only the uplifting, but the ability to do these things for many folks is becoming more difficult due to freedoms and rights taken away. I know because I’ve seen it; I’ve experienced it and am still experiencing it. All societies, cultures, peoples are broken. We are leading the planet to destruction and our death, ultimately. That is Truth. Harsh. Absolutely. The Harsh Truth! Thus, I can no longer only post fantasy. I will do it since magic is still alive. But, we must realize that this magic is dwindling because of the poison that is spreading ever so quickly, exponentially, throughout our world. We are at a critical point as a race, species, or whatever it is we are.

I’ve always meant for this blog to reflect who I am, and who I am is far from a perfect angel and butterfly that spreads light. Yes! Absolutely, I would love to do those things, and I have proven that I have. But, I must also be aware of what is broken and spread the word in order to find those like me who will help in the fixing up of our spiraling out of control world, society–everything! We need to strengthen the magic. Let me remind you that Beauty is found in the revealing of the Ugly; Truth is found in the revealing of the Lies. To get to that Magic, we must tread through darkness. We must eliminate Fear. We must be full of energy–the energy you spend on the frivolous and unnecessary.

Although I’m not well health wise, like Rachel Carson and others like her who were ill but followed through on revealing the ugliness and the lies so that Beauty and Truth would endure, so will I do. I’m in that process of evolving again, branching out. But, I will not follow the popular crowd or the crowd that gets you to a comfy lifestyle. You see, that’s a lie that only perpetuates the myth that our world, society are okay. Too many wrongs witnessed is proof enough for me. It should be for all but fear of losing that comfy lifestyle interferes. It is understandable since I’ve been there–I lost that lifestyle. My health problem now stems from taking that road less traveled as my friend Frost would say. My life is hard. But, I can sleep soundly knowing I walk alone in my search for Beauty and Truth, in the search for myself. I do what must be done without expecting honor, awards or whatever it is the ego craves. I want none of that. I need the Beauty and Truth that lies within me in order to find the Magic. Or, better said, in order to make that Magic grow and destroy the Ugly Darkness of Lies that lead to Evil, which to me is war, any kind whether with other countries, friends, peers, or family. War is war. Fixing the state of being for the human race necessitates a move within. Has it not been written so many times by great thinkers of times past and present to know thyself? Well, to know thyself, it is necessary to go within. It’s where the magic lives and waits for us.

I’ve decided to change the content of my blog because I cannot sleep soundly knowing our kids are killing other kids, family, friends; I cannot sleep soundly knowing that something horribly wrong has happened, is happening and will continue to happen with humanity, society, our planet. If you watch the news, shit, if you just go outside, you see it. It’s everywhere, this violence. It’s what society thrives on and perpetuates–violence, punishment and death. Societies appear to have always been this way. We as a race have not humanized one ounce when it comes to war or evolving into decent human beings–I say as a “race.” As a race, we are despicable. Dress it up with different clothes, but war is still war; violence is still violence, whether passive or not. We have wars amongst countries, states, cities, families, peers, friends, animals and everything/anything that gets in our way of pleasure–war is our thing and people are quite good at it. I can’t even say we are “humans” because it is not humane to live in such a way. Hey, I’m guilty. My own family is entwined in war. Fight after fight because of “things”. I had to step aside because the poison was beginning to bubble in my veins. I couldn’t do it. It happened at work–people at war with each other, stabbing each other in the back to get where? Ahead? Ha! Heartless. I’m sick of it. I know a lot of you are. Join me in going within. Follow the White Rabbit.

We are a race that struggles to survive instead of a race that lives to flourish. Yes, Beauty and Truth still exist, but slowly, the Ugliness and the Lies allow for the killing of such Beauty and Truth. I’m speaking generalities, but I will provide specifics. You will know the White Rabbit and why she became so. Or, you may just wish to fuck off. It’s fine with me. I need followers with balls, followers who are not afraid to go within and see what they really are. Welcome to the real world. This is me cause I’m sick and tired of Ugly and the Lies, which lead to the Wars. Perhaps I have gone totally mad…ahh…that’s why I live in a hole and call myself the White Rabbit. I only come out when I have something to show or illustrate. When I first started this blog, some of you may recall, I was passionate about revealing the ugly and the lies. It was after the ghastly shootings at an elementary school that I stood back, shocked that some fuck head would actually dare tell me that what I meant by my post pertaining to the shooting was that the kids deserved what they got. Imagine. It hurt me. I almost deactivated the blog. But, I did not. Instead, I rode out my severe depression–a depression that arose because I allowed some thoughtless jerk to kill my magic. I was afraid of such confrontation again so decided to post my photographs, a hobby that also illustrates my love for landscapes and the magical. I continued posting quotes from my favorites. In short, I got up again. This occurred in December of 2012, if my memory serves me correctly. It is time to evolve again. And, this time, I’m not going to be nice, and I give two shits about what anyone thinks. Come shoot me and do me a favor.

Generally, I’m kind-hearted and nice to the point of naïvete. I will continue to be so, but with my new acquired passion to help people go within, to face the ego and go beyond it to where the true self waits to pour the magic of fairies all over you. Your eyes will see in a way you never thought you could. But, I warn you. Hope you will not find there. Magic? Yes. But, along with the Magic, like in any fairytale, lurks the evil. Evil wants to rule. Hope will not save us but Magic will. And, you will know Magic when you walk side by side with the White Rabbit who walks alone now, trying to go through that needle’s eye. Join me.

Enough said for now. I need to jump into my rabbit hole. You’ve followed me so far…are you willing to continue? You and I may not be able to in the future if the Internet goes bye-bye. Think about that. Blessed be and we will Merry Meet again. 😉

Kiss the Internet Goodbye?

If you go to the bottom of this post, you will find the links to the Huffington and the Washington Post for your review. This will affect all of us, especially those strapped for cash. The following link is from Reuters

Breaking news: The FCC just took the first step toward killing Net Neutrality, by moving ahead with a plan to divide the Internet into a fast lane for the 1% and a slow lane for the rest of us.1  

But we can still win the fight for an open Internet. MoveOn members and allies have already succeeded in getting a real solution on the table: to reclassify the Internet as a public utility like drinking water—making it equally accessible to all.2 For the next 60 days the FCC will take public comments on the proposal. We have 60 days to win by doubling down on our campaign now. 

Can you chip in $3 today to ramp up our campaign to save the Internet?

As FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn said, “the real call to action begins after the vote today. This is your opportunity to formally make your points on the record. You have the ear of the entire FCC.”3

And we’re doing just that. MoveOn members are literally in the streets at 19 local FCC offices across the country right now—sending shockwaves through the FCC bureaucracy.

But to keep this campaign going for the next 60 days, we need to raise $150,000 to launch the next phase.

With the support of MoveOn members, we will:

  • Drive phone calls to the White House so that President Obama has to hold FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler accountable for his promise to protect Net Neutrality—building on the thousands of calls members have already made


  • Launch a new round of ads to raise awareness of what’s at stake and continue to pressure President Obama and Chairman Wheeler


  • Deliver thousands of public comments to the FCC in support of the real solution—treating the Internet as a public utility 


  • Continue to amplify the more than 10,000 personal stories from MoveOn members who would be hurt if the FCC adopts this plan 

We know that corporations like Verizon and Comcast aren’t going to sit this out. They will be deploying their lobbyists and putting their money behind killing Net Neutrality. But we have already proven that MoveOn members can fight back, if we do it together. 

We’ve come this far—can you chip in $3 to keep fighting for a free and open Internet? 

Yes, I can contribute $3.

Together we’ll make sure the FCC feels enough sustained public pressure that there is no way they can kill Net Neutrality.

Thanks for all you do.

–Maria, Manny, Joan, Garlin, and the rest of the team


1. “FCC approves plan to consider paid priority on Internet,” The Washington Post, May 15, 2014

2. Ibid.

3. “FCC Votes For Plan To Kill Net Neutrality,” Huffington Post, May 15, 2014


“My heart is like a singing bird.”

~Christina Rossetti

off road

“We are preoccupied with time. If we could learn to love space as deeply as we are now obsessed with time, we might discover a new meaning in the phrase ‘to live like men.”

~Edward Abbey


“Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual you have an obligation to be one.”
~Eleanor Roosevelt

Cypress Canoeing

“Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises.”

~Pedro Calderon de la Barca



“And looks commercing with the skies,
Thy rapt soul sitting in thine eyes.”
~John Milton, L’Allegro, Il Penseroso, Comus, and Lycidas

alligator pond

“I come down to the water to cool my eyes. But everywhere I look I see fire; that which isn’t flint is tinder, and the whole world sparks and flames.”
~Annie Dillard


“Sometimes you climb out of bed in the morning and you think, I’m not going to make it, but you laugh inside — remembering all the times you’ve felt that way.”
~Charles Bukowski

Bald Cypress
The good man is the friend of all living things.
~ Mahatma Gandhi

Alligator Pond

“If we ruin the earth, there is no place else to go”
~Carl Sagan, Cosmos

cypress walk

“My wonder button is being pushed all the time.”
~Carl Sagan


“When you’re sad, my Little Star, go out of doors.  It’s always better underneath the open sky.”
~Eva Ibbotson, A Countess Below Stairs    


“The woods were my Ritalin.  Nature calmed me, focused me, and yet excited my senses.”
~Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder    

Loop Road

Enjoy my Everglades and other nature photos? Please visit my Everglades Lovers Group below, become a member to enjoy new photos daily and invite friends.

So glad to see you here! This page is dedicated to Marjory Stoneman Douglas, decorated author of Everglades, River of Grass, and Voice of the Everglades–a true friend until the end. Welcome all lovers of both Ms. Stoneman Douglas and her Everglades. May both live on strong. For now, enjoy what is left, captured by my eyes. Photos taken at either Flamingo, Shark Valley, Tamiami Trail, Miccosukee, Big Cypress Reserve and other nearby areas in the Everglades, South Florida. Copyright 2014 by Hakes Publishing. You may add your own Everglades shots or anything else pertaining to the Everglades or Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Everything and anything else posted not meeting the above criteria will be deleted without notice, the member who posted deleted also. Again, welcome and enjoy!


“To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment.”

~Jane Austen

tamiami canal 2

“The Everglades was the only place on earth where alligators (broad snout, fresh water, darker skin) and crocodiles (pointy snout, salt water, toothy grin) lived side by side. It was the only home of the Everglades mink, Okeechobee gourd, and Big Cypress fox squirrel. It had carnivorous plants, amphibious birds, oysters that grew on trees, cacti that grew in water, lizards that changed colors, and fish that changed genders. It had 1,100 species of trees and plants, 350 birds, and 52 varieties of porcelain-smooth, candy-striped tree snails. It had bottlenose dolphins, marsh rabbits, ghost orchids, moray eels, bald eagles, and countless other species that didn’t seem to belong on the same continent, much less in the same ecosystem.”
~Michael Grunwald, The Swamp: The Everglades, Florida, and the Politics of Paradise

Notice the “past tense” used by the writer. All is dwindling quickly…go figure.

tamiami trail canal

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
~Dr. Seuss, The Lorax    

Everglades Airboat

“Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life.”
―Ralph Waldo Emerson


“The  miracle of light pours over the green and brown expanse of saw grass and of  water, shining and slowly moving, the grass and water that is the meaning and  the central fact of the Everglades. It is a river of grass.”
~Marjory  Stoneman Douglas

Everglades 2

“The miracle of light pours over the green and brown expanse of saw grass and of water, shining and slowly moving, the grass and water that is the meaning and the central fact of the Everglades. It is a river of grass.”
~Marjory Stoneman Douglas

Alligator“The Everglades was the only place on earth where alligators (broad snout, fresh water, darker skin) and crocodiles (pointy snout, salt water, toothy grin) lived side by side. It was the only home of the Everglades mink, Okeechobee gourd, and Big Cypress fox squirrel. It had carnivorous plants, amphibious birds, oysters that grew on trees, cacti that grew in water, lizards that changed colors, and fish that changed genders. It had 1,100 species of trees and plants, 350 birds, and 52 varieties of porcelain-smooth, candy-striped tree snails. It had bottlenose dolphins, marsh rabbits, ghost orchids, moray eels, bald eagles, and countless other species that didn’t seem to belong on the same  continent, much less in the same ecosystem.”

~Michael Grunwald, The Swamp: The Everglades, Florida, and the Politics of Paradise    



“Back in 1870, when only eighty-five people lived along the coast of southeastern Florida, an estimated two million wading birds inhabited the Everglades during dry seasons. During the late nineteenth century, plume-hunting reduced these birds to only several hundred thousand. This dramatic loss spurred protective laws in Florida — and in New York, where the plumes had been shipped to millinery houses. Thus protected, the wading-bird population rebounded to near its original level. Then, in the 1940s and after, the character of the Everglades itself began to change. As South Florida grew, the Everglades shrank, its waters controlled for man’s uses. By the mid-1970s, wading-bird numbers had dropped back to a few hundred thousand, about 10 percent of what it had been a century before. Biologists actively study these birds, looking for clues that might lead to stopping or even reversing the decline. As yet the only thing that is certain is that life in the Everglades is more fragile than anyone ever thought.”

~Jack de Golia, Everglades: The Story Behind the Scenery, 1978


    “The web of domination has become the web of Reason itself, and this society is fatally entangled in it.” ~Herbert Marcuse

 Everglades – 2013

Everglades Lookout Tower

“There are no other Everglades in the world.” ~Marjory Stoneman Douglas 

Over exposed, I know. Took this from atop of the observation tower at Shark Valley, Tamiami Trail. You reach it either by walking or cycling. Better, you can take the tram, which is what I took. It’s about 14 miles roundtrip. Gators dot the trail that leads to the tower and the alligator hole appearing in this picture. It’s quite an experience to walk by these creatures.

Cypress Reserve

Florida has the richest epiphyte flora in the United States. Of the approximately 85 native epiphytic ferns and flowering plants, nearly two-thirds are found in Florida only in swamps of the Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve and Big Cypress National Preserve, and tropical hammocks of Everglades National Park. Florida’s epiphytes are in danger of disappearing because of wetland dredging and filling, coastal development, and an exotic weevil (Metamasius callizonus) that is attacking several bromeliad species.

Took this picture while in about foot deep water inside of a Cypress Dome  within the Big Cypress National Preserve. It was amazing!

Deep within the heart of the Everglades National Park near the quaint little town called the Redlands, you find Flamingo Camping Grounds and Marina.

The camping grounds are smack at the edge of South Florida with a stunning view of Florida Bay.

You can either take your own tent. There are fire pits, picnic tables, and toilet/showers nearby.

Or you can stay in the Eco-Tent, a sustainable lodging project.

Excellent hiking trails and Florida Bay views in the day time; enchanting views of the stars in the evening.

What an excellent way to spend the winter solstice!

Tamiami Trail Views.


The Tamiami Trail was built with the intention of connecting Tampa and Miami. In fact, its name is a combination of the two cities. The trail was also meant to shine the spotlight on  Collier County, a county named so due to Barron Collier, a man who poured and showered all his wealth and energy on the land after he fell in love with the area. This area was wilderness when the project to develop it first twinkled in Collier’s eyes. It took 13 years and $8 million dollars to complete it. Unfortunately, the endeavor destroyed most of the Everglades since The Trail created a dam that cut the original water-flow, obliviating habitats of flora and fauna. As a result of the massive destruction of habitat, the Everglades saw the loss of an abundance of its original infrastructure. The Everglades today is almost less than half of the original size. In order to salvage what is left of the unique ecosystem, a Restoration Project is now in effect. 2013 is the estimated date of completion. There is still hope. Enjoy the rest of the views along The Trail!

Above is the view from the terrace off the second floor lounge inside of the Miccosukee Resort and Casino. This is a northern view.


Here is another view with part of The Trail visible. Don’t be surprised by the abundant road-kill. Hopefully, the new bridge will help avoid such accidents. The bridge is part of the Restoration project meant to allow the water flow from north to south once more. The flow begins south of Lake Okeechobee and empties in Florida Bay. The bridge is hope.


This is a Melaleuca Forest found along The Tamiami Trail in Miami. Lightning strikes burnt the forest to a crisp. It has now been a few years since the fire and new green areas emerge. This part of The Trail begins in Miami-Dade at about 157th Avenue and ends at the Miccosukee Resort and Casino. The Trail actually begins in Miami and ends in Tampa or vice-versa. It is a 275-mile long two-way enchanted highway. Hoped you enjoyed the views from this small 15-mile section of the Tamiami Trail.

Greeting tourists and gamblers alike is this years, 2012, Miccosukee Resort Holiday Tree–quite grand at two stories. The resort is found on Tamiami Trail. The Miccosukee Tribe own the resort–cousins to the Seminole who own the Hardrock Resort and Casino in Broward. Both tribes, more so the Miccosukee, were part of the Creek Nation. The members of the tribe are ancestors of those who refused to submit to the U.S. Government. They fought vicious wars until the mid 1900’s when they signed peace treaties–The Seminole’s first, around or some time after the finishing of the Tamiami Trail, which was in the late 1920’s. The Miccosukee Tribe were the last in 1962–some say with the help of Fidel Castro. Go figure! Even now, 2012, one of the tribes continues the battle with the U.S. – this time, the I.R.S.

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Usually, when visiting South Florida, tourists end up at beaches to the east or the keys to the south. Some, however, visit the Everglades. Why visit? “It is the only one of its kind in the world–another one of the unique marvels of this planet.” ~Marjory Stoneman Douglas

For those who dare to take the adventure, the path that will lead them into the enchanted forest called the Everglades is the Tamiami Trail west. Here begins the adventure into a place where wilderness still exists.

One possible itinerary, especially for those who want to keep the wilderness at bay, is as follows. Begin the tour by 7:00 a.m. at the Miccosukee resort where a sumptuous buffet breakfast awaits. After breakfast, a tour of the resort with a stop at the casino may follow. Next, a stop at the Miccosukee Museum replete with Airboat Ride and Gator Show. Lunch at the Miccosukee Restaurant found just across from Shark Valley will prepare the tourists for the last activity of the day: The Tram Ride. This ride takes the tourists on a two-hour trip. The first hour heads towards an observation tower where 360 degree views astonish the on-looker. The last hour returns the tourist to the parking/snack area. During the ride, flora and fauna are plenty–the camera is a must as myriad of shots will be available for nature photography lovers.

The evening ends at the Barbeque Pit, recently purchased by Cubans. Here is another cultural stop: an out-door tiki-style restaurant with a live band playing salsa music — dance floor with flashing lights and all greets the stunned diners.

One warning, the Everglades is real wilderness. All flora and fauna are real and dangerous. By keeping safety rules in mind, tourists are able to have a most spectacular day.

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