through the glades, Big Cypress Natural Preserve FL

We woke up on Christmas Day with the sun, even a little before the first rays kissed the dark asphalt. It had been a rough few nights and we welcomed the feeling of being welcomed, that beckoned in Sarasota. Just last night, our recently-acquired friend from Georgia, Nia, had invited us to join her on a family visit there. So westward we went. A foggy morning drive took us to the outskirts of the swamps, the Everglades on one side and Big Cypress on the other. As time progressed the morning tendrils dissipated to reveal a yellowish greenish color scheme. Panthers x-ing signs every few miles, water drenched roots and branches, and birds, thousands of birds, of water, of prey, of every color and size. And anywhere and everywhere – gators galore! Warming their scaled magnificence in the rising sun.