The Milky Way over the Everglades

I got up at 1:20am and gathered my gear to drive down to the Everglades to catch the Milky Way. The weather conditions were just right with clear skies, no moon, cool temperatures and a very light breeze that did not disturb the water surface. the cool weather kept the mosquitos in check. I arrived at one of the many lakes around 3:00am in the Everglades National Park. My goal was to try out some new techniques to capture the Milky Way. This image of the Milky Way is made up of 20 images that were stacked to reduce the noise and provide more definition to the stars in the night sky. Taken 03-30-2022

The Milky Way over the Everglades
Everglades-MilkyWay-2022_03_30-1360-1380-stacked

Startrails over the Florida Everglades

Startrails over the Florida Everglades
Photo by Lee Smith – Startrails over the Florida Everglades

I got up 2:30am, had my coffee and left my house by 3am. It takes about 1 1/2 hours to reach my destination deep in the Florida Everglades. I have to walk through the area in total darkness with a small flashlight to find my spot to setup my tripod and shoot. I usually adjust my camera settings at home before leaving, so I do not have to waste time on site. I have to capture about (180) 20 second images. When I get home, I download all the images and select the 180 images to stack and combine in my software. The whole processing part can take about 30-45 minutes once the image is combined to get this result.
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Everglades National Park is Reopening in Phases

Everglades National Park
Everglades National Park,  FL

News Release Date: May 1, 2020

Contact: Visitor Information, 305-242-7700
Contact: Media: Allyson Gantt, 786-610-8023

Homestead, Fla. – Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities, Everglades National Park is increasing recreational access. The National Park Service (NPS) is working service wide with federal, state, and local authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.

Beginning May 4, Everglades National Park will reopen access to:

  • Main Park Road from the Homestead entrance to Flamingo (note exceptions below)
  • External restrooms at the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center
  • Flamingo Marina and boat launch ramps
  • Flamingo Marina Store, restrooms, and gas pumps
  • Flamingo Fish Cleaning Station and restroom
  • Chekika Day Use Area (roads and surrounding areas only)

In addition, entry fees are waived, and the following spaces continue to be available:

  • Marine waters of Everglades National Park
  • Beach campsites in wilderness

With public health in mind, the following facilities remain closed at this time:

  • Royal Palm area including the Anhinga Trail
  • Long Pine Key area and campground
  • West Lake area
  • Flamingo campground
  • All visitor centers and public buildings
  • Concession tours and boat rentals
  • All other park restrooms
  • Other park locations such as Shark Valley and Gulf Coast

For more information visit:
https://www.nps.gov/ever/learn/news/everglades-national-park-is-reopening-in-phases.htm

The Milky Way over Pa-hay-okee Trail

A black & white view of the Milky Way over Pa-hay-okee Trail in the Everglades National Park
By Lee Smith Photography
©2018 Smitty’s Holdings, Inc.

A view of the Milky Way over Pa-hay-okee Trail in the Everglades National Park
Everglades-MilkyWay – B&W-2018_04_17 – IMG_3636

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