For nine years, we've only looked at this fresh water lagoon from our balcony over Fort Lauderdale's Birch Park. This Thanksgiving, we decided to explore it up close in a bright yellow canoe.
After negotiating our rented watercraft away from the protective guard-duck who seemed miffed at not being fed, we set off into this mysterious and primitive waterscape. There were large drifts of water lilies, at times thick enough to nearly stop the boat. Strange and beautiful plants along the banks had us zig-zagging back and forth for close-up inspections.
Punctuating the lush hammock surrrounding the lagoond is one last stand of silvery dead trees, the remains of invasive, non-native Australian pines that the park service has been eradicating over the past few years.
Lots of pictures after the jump, and as always, click to embiggen for full screen pleasure.
|An odd duck guards the rental canoes at the lagoon entrance|
|Water lilies cover less surface here at south end, but get very thick further north|
|Looking north where the lagoon narrows before getting extra thick with lily pads|
|Not many of these white lilies on the water surface|
|At times the lily pads were so dense, it was hard to paddle, recalling that scene in The African Queen...|
|...but the fearless navigator navigated anyway...|
|...even though the picture-taker sometimes didn't picture-take.|
|Birch Park lagoon has a lush and unusual landscape...|
|...full of fascinating flora with primitive forms and moments of startling colors.|
|These seemed to turn their faces to follow us. We assured them we'd be back soon.|