I had wanted to go to the Everglades even as a kid after watching documentaries on television about “The River of Grass”. Unfortunately, despite going to Florida several times, it wasn’t until I was 45 years old that I finally made it there. In Dec 2020 we took a family vacation to South Florida and visited both the sawgrass swamp where we walked the boardwalk and took a boat tour of the southern coastal mangrove forest.
The first thing that strikes you about the Everglades is how easy it is to find and photograph wildlife, particularly birds. We saw alligators, manatees, egrets, herons, ibises, turtles, anhingas, and more in only a couple hours. I’m sure more time on trails would have led to discovering far more.
I wanted to paint both the sawgrass and mangrove environments and to include a manatee underwater and emphasize the numerous animals we encountered, which would be a complicated effort. I had a basic idea in mind which I created below.