Today we went biking in the Everglades, far far away from civilization, from the nearest tourist attractions, deep into nature.
Once you get away from roads and houses, you can feel the natural world reasserting itself. From the sounds of unseen animals rustling in the woods, to the sudden glimpse of a black racer snake as it slithered across my path, to the deceptive silence when we would stop to take in our surroundings.
I say “deceptive” because the more you wait quietly and listen, the more the Everglades come to life. There are so many little sights and sounds, details of the daily life of nature that you would never see or hear from a car.
At one point we stopped by a sign from the park service, warning visitors not to wander off the path and disturb the world around us. I thought it charming that right next to this sign, somebody had thought to place a giant statue of a blue heron, far too large to be a real bird.
Just then the statue came to life, spread its magnificent wings and flew off in a slow upward spiral, giving a loud cry of disapproval that we had dared to disturb its silent reverie. After all, the blue heron was the one at home, and we the exotic visitors from another world.