The park has wonderful facilities, everything from softball diamonds to a velodrome. But it also contains a wide variety of wildlife. My favorites are the burrowing owls, which are indigenous to the area. They're small (about 10 inches in height), have yellow eyes and are skittish about us humans. Approach too closely and they duck into the safety of their burrows right quick. Here's a couple I found out on my ride this morning:
A little further down the path, I saw the aforementioned iguanas running for cover into the reeds. Some of these guys scoot using only their hind legs. They were too quick for this shutterbug and they got away before I could fire off a frame. But not every reptile in the park managed to escape my lens. I found this Cuban Anole looking for morsels on a tree. I happen to have a Cuban lizard living in the tree in my front yard and, after hearing that they can be aggressive, I push the lawnmower a little quicker whenever I'm underneath the branches. They're not as large as an iguana, but at a foot in length they're not exactly the little, finger-sized brown lizards that my cats love to chase and pester:
Last but not least on my biking junket, a green parrot. This guy/gal? was up in a tree with a twig in its mouth. Not the greatest shot in the world, but it was as close as he/she would allow me to get. I was told by one of the park employees that the parrots are migratory and make four stops a year at the park:
Next, I'm thinking of trying the Shark Valley bike trail in the Everglades but am having a bit of trouble finding a biking buddy to join me. It might have something to do with the alligators that like to sun along the paved, 15-mile trail. But you'd have to ask them.