Kayaking with Iguanas
Trip Start Nov 19, 2007
217Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
Curry Hammock State Park
It was in this way that we first started talking to Grace and Henry Zomer. They live in Ontario, Canada and are down in the Florida Keys to warm up and unwind
Andy and I joined a Mom and her son and daughter to go on a Kayak tour of Curry Hammock Island with Ranger Lance. Lance was terrific. He really knew the history and the environmental impacts that have been effecting the island for years and those that are current. The Iguanas that you can see in the pictures are not native to Florida and are eating too much of the fruits, berries, seeds and leaves of things that the native birds and lizards need. They have no natural enemy so the Rangers have to catch and euthanize...a most unpleasant job! So if you get a young iguana as a pet.....keep it!! Do not let it go outside in Florida!! They have multiplied into hundreds of thousands and are a problem! But they sure are gorgeous!!
A word about the bird sitting on the pole in the water.....see the picture? Lance explained how scars are made in the turtle (wide blade) grass and the manatee (thin blade) grass by motor boats not being careful to realize how shallow it is. The propellers chop a path right through the grass cutting the "lawn" or bed into areas instead of being one huge blanket of gently waving green. It is important for these scars to be healed quickly as the tides flow more easily along them creating deeper and deeper gullies until they cannot be filled in by nature. Rangers try to help to stop that erosion by seeding the scars. They then plant a pole at one or both ends of the scar based on the direction of the tides and topography to help slow down erosion and, this is the interesting bit, to encourage birds to sit on the pole.....the birds sit and preen and poop--fertilizing the seeded scar!! Is that great? I love these Rangers and how they think!
We really enjoyed our time on the tour and took away an even greater love and feeling of protection for Florida and her fragile Eco systems.