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The shimmering waters of the everglades creep silently down the tip of Florida under warm subtropical skies. In a vast, shallow sheet this lazy river idles through tall grasses and shadowy forests, easing over alligator holes and under bird rookeries, finally mingling with the salty waters of Florida Bay and the Gulf of Mexico in the mangrove swamps. From source to sea, all across the shallow breadth of this watery landscape, life abounds.

Everglades National Park is to most Americans an Eden where birds, mammals, reptiles, and orchids find sanctuary. Sunshine sparkles on sloughs teeming with fish, and on marshes where wildflowers bloom the year around; it shines on tree islands where birds roost and deer bed down. In this semitropical garden of plant-and-animal communities, every breeze-touched glade, every cluster of trees is a separate world in which are tucked yet smaller worlds of such complexity that even ecologists have not learned all their intricate relationships.

This book has been written to help you see how the many pieces of this ecological puzzle fit together to form a complex, ever-changing, closely woven web of plants, animals, rock, soil, sun, water, and air.

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Last Modified: Sat, Nov 4 2006 10:00:00 pm PST

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