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ON THE HUNT: The Everglades is home to more than 350 documented species of birds, but that is only a fraction of the number that existed before the 1900s.
By Tim Murphy | FREELANCER
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Photo essay: The Everglades

Freelance photographer Tim Murphy of Springfield takes us to Florida in this issue, to Everglades National Park, where he has traveled to twice in recent years.

"I expected swamp and and an element of danger before my first trip. The gators certainly keep you on edge, and there is plenty of water, but there is so much more to it," Murphy says. "There are elevated trails that safely take you right up to the wildlife. And the complex ecosystem features all sorts of land with an amazing diversity of plants and animals."

Want to go? Start planning a trip with a visit to the official park Web site, www.nps.gov/ever. The park, which sees more than a million visitors a year, is the third-largest national park in the lower 48 states, behind Yellowstone National Park and Death Valley National Park.

The best time of year to visit the Everglades is from December to April, when the weather is more mild with an average high of 77 degrees. Summers are hot and humid with temperatures around 90 degrees. The rainy season (aka mosquito season) is June through October.

Be sure to pack a camera for the trip and bring extra batteries and plenty of film or memory cards. And don't forget sunscreen.

Story published Friday, September 4, 2009 ( Volume 4, Number 5 )

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