Airboat Adventure

After the shrine and a vitally important coffee stop for Lee, we headed off to, um, somewhere in the middle of Florida, because I’d decided I wanted to go on an airboat ride to see some nature.

Lee and Anita actually having fun

Where we went was actually in Kenansville, Wild Florida Airboats and Gator Park. I think Lee was a bit dubious, but Anita and I were up for it. The drive there was beautiful, and the facility was pretty cool. Touristy but clean and organized.

The one-hour ride itself was everything I’d hoped it would be. What fun! We were on a large lake, and could see a prescribed burn off in the distance.

Fire in the distance

We zoomed through gorgeous water lilies, rushes, and cat tails. Everywhere I turned was another beautiful bird. The captain stopped periodically to show us things around us. I loved the yellow lily pads that looked like lotuses.

Cranes on a levee

Highlights included seeing sandhill cranes and two bald eagles, plus everyone’s favorites, the gators. We saw a mother and a hatchling, then later a large one meandering down a canal.

Dignified eagle

The air felt so good while we were zipping across the lake that none of us wanted the ride to end! And yes, Lee liked it!

Lee enjoying the gift shop

After the airboat, we walked on a boardwalk to look at a cypress swamp up close, then checked out a few animals and birds. They even had albino gators.

Just being a gator out in the wild

The animals seemed well cared for and everyone who worked there seemed happy.

Albino gator, safely in a protected habitat

What birds did I see?

Here’s a list of what we spotted:

  • Bald eagles
  • Sandhill cranes
  • Ospreys (catching fish!)
  • Red shouldered hawk
  • Caracara
  • Roseate spoonbill
  • Blue heron, great
  • Blue heron (little)
  • Tri-colored heron
  • Red-winged blackbird
  • Crows
  • Great egret
  • White ibis
  • Wood stork
  • Limpkin
  • Mud hen
  • Cormorant
  • Coot
  • Cattle egret

Whew. That’s a lot! If you get a chance, ride an airboat!

Spoonbills spooning
Heron flying
Egret flying

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

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