Sunday, June 30, 2013

Movie Dome and Double Dome

Yesterday (Saturday) I met up with the Big Cypress Florida Trail Association group for some cypress dome exploration in Everglades National Park.  No, the Florida Trail does not go through this area, but we wanted to branch out and see something different with less hiking since it is definitely in the middle of wet season.  We met up at the park entrance in Homestead and carpooled to our first spot.  We first quickly walked the half mile Pineland Trail to see some tree snails.

We then headed over to another spot, parked on the side of the road and had to meander about a half mile over to Movie Dome.  I am not sure where the name came from, but I was told that park rangers lead tours here sometimes.

Approaching Movie Dome

The ground was very wet (thigh deep) and inconsistent so this was pretty difficult to traverse and a few people fell in.  As we entered the dome, my dad, a huge birder, immediately spotted a Barred Owl hanging out on a tree branch right in front of us.

He allowed us to gawk and him and take some pictures before flying off to find a more peaceful spot.  We explored the inside of the dome, saw some beautiful bromeliads, pond apples, and went for a swim.  

Center of Movie Dome

Pond Apple (edible but gross)

After exploring this dome we headed back to the cars to check out Double Dome.  This dome was right on the side of the road so we were able to enter it immediately.  It was completely different from Movie Dome. Double Dome had different weeds in the water and more ferns than bromeliads.  It was also filled with Butterfly Orchids, which are very common in this area.

Inside of Double Dome

Butterfly Orchids

We also saw wildlife here.  We saw 2 brown water snakes, a wasp nest and another Barred Owl.

We already plan to head back there in two weeks to explore 2 other domes so stay tuned for those pictures!

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