Night of the Mosquito

Aug 06, 2008 by Janine
Saturday's Everglades trip was memorable, for a couple of reasons. The first being that at the visitor's center, before entering the park, we usually douse ourselves in DEET to keep the mosquitoes at bay. I usually hold my breath to avoid inhaling any, but for some reason I miscalculated and ended up with a lungful of the stuff. So I spent most of the night with a burning throat and sick tummy.

I am now researching DEET free mosquito sprays. The mosquitoes were quite bad- even with the DEET, anyone brave enough to venture outside the truck was instantly surrounded by a cloud of them.

On the bright side, we did see a panther not long after the "incident" ;)

The second reason it was a memorable night was because we saw our first Burmese Python within the park. And a couple of hours later, we saw another smaller one.

Burmese Pythons are becoming established in the Everglades, and elsewhere in South Florida. The pythons were likely introduced over the years as pets that were released when they outgrew their enclosures. In the last few years, the python population has increased dramatically, and they appear to be expanding their range. They prey on a variety of native wildlife, including endangered species such as wood rat and musk rat. And, growing to lengths of 20 feet or more, they can be dangerous to humans as well.

The Burmese Python problem in the Everglades received international attention a couple of years ago with the gruesome discovery of a 13 foot python that had "burst" trying to digest an alligator. Here's a link to an update on that story. I definitely do not want to run into one that big.

This one was only 4-5 feet long, but emitted a menacing hiss when we approached:

The other one we saw was smaller, probably only 3 feet long. We also saw a couple of cottonmouth and garter snakes. One other unusual sighting was a Smooth Billed Ani along the Research Road. Another first for us, in the park.

Cheers to August in the Glades- we must be crazy.


Aug 07, 2008, 03:58:46 Tricia wrote:

Sorry to hear you suffered with something that should have prevented suffering!!

Love that orange setting sun; much more than the python (but congrats on capturing it)

Aug 08, 2008, 05:21:58 Jan wrote:

Yeah, what Tricia said, how awful, nothing worse than a lungful of any sort of aerosol actually, but that could have been nasty.

Lovely photos, and the museum ones too, I have been looking but geting behind with my comments, keep up the good work Jan... ;o)

Aug 10, 2008, 05:07:23 oldcrow wrote:

I can't imagine what the mosquitoes must have been like. We get them here certain times of the year but nowhere as bad as what you must have gone through. Beautiful pictures as always.

Add Comment

This item is closed, it's not possible to add new comments to it or to vote on it