How do you know when it’s Fall in the South Florida Wetlands?!

IMG_2421We have incredible skies in South Florida, and they are exceptionally beautiful in the fall when we see “rainbow clouds” like the ones above. The sun hides behind a large growing mass of clouds just before an impending storm, and the colors are as brilliant as a rainbow. What a striking scene to behold!
IMG_1306As summer comes to a close, this orange Wild Balsam Apple fruit hanging heavily from its vine looks so succulent and full!  I love to watch them transform as they burst open to expose their bright red berries inside.IMG_6899In August, rich red Florida Hibiscus blossoms dotted the marshes, but they are all faded now that it is September.  Their petals have fallen onto the ground, and their stunning deep green and purple leaves have turned gold and brown.

You can also tell that fall is near in the wetlands when the baby alligators hatch!  They are only about 8-9″ long after they hatch and there are usually 20 to 30 in a litter.  Their 8-9′ long Mama guards them with a very protective eye, as they are easy prey for many predators, including adult male gators!

IMG_2078Another sign of fall is that the Night Heron juveniles are growing larger and becoming more independent.

They, too, have parents who always hover nearby, sometimes doing a balancing act to keep their large bodies upright on the thin branches!


Last week, I spotted what seemed like just a fleeting, blurry vision way up in a tall tree along the shady boardwalk – but, lo and behold, some birder friends helped me catch my first glimpse of a returning Warbler – another sign that another season will soon be upon us!

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