Going out to the beach during class hours was a nice break from the time in the labs. Although it was hot, as Florida days normally are, it was pleasant to walk down the beach and see all sorts of different biomes in a relatively small area. The most amazing thing, though, was the Mangrove Tunnels. They were nothing like I’d ever seen before, at least not in real life.
The trees lined the broad river, standing tall and looking exceptionally Floridian, draped in Spanish moss and reaching their branches out in a wild and unorganized manner. The river itself was a mystery, hiding its inhabitants within its depths. Every few moments a fish would pop out and pop back in, quick as it had come. It seemed teeming with life.
In the winter, manatees make the warm-watered mangrove tunnels their home, and the dolphins can be seen swimming through year round. There’s also a variety of bird species seen in the mangroves, enjoying the abundance of food available.
I definitely want to go back to the mangroves one day, rent a kayak or a stand-up paddleboard and see it for myself. It was almost sad to have to stay on shore and look on at the river, and only being able to see so far until the river turned. The mangrove is a natural experience I will not want to miss out on.