Luke’s Everglades Excursion
“Luke greets a woman and her young daughter as they enter Greg’s jewelry store. The woman purchases a beautiful charm bracelet with ocean creatures. The young girl is wearing a shell necklace she made for herself. Greg tells them about the Calusa tribe, Native Americans who lived in Florida. They made jewelry from seashells and were known as the Shell Indians.
After work, Greg takes Luke on a walk. Luke learns about the Barefoot Mailman. Greg also tells Luke about a man named Alligator Joe who wrestled alligators to entertain the tourists who visited their seaside town. On the Lake Trail, Luke sees a pelican, other birds wading in the lake, fish jumping from the water, and a manatee. Greg decides to take Luke on a weekend trip to Everglades National Park to see more wildlife.
In the park, Luke and Greg take rides on an airboat and a swamp buggy, and they see beautiful wildlife in their unique habitats. A guide tells them about an invasive species living in the Everglades, the Burmese python. Under the night sky, Luke learns about the Milky Way galaxy, natural light, and nocturnal animals, and he discovers how light pollution from cities harms wildlife. Luke makes a wish upon a shooting star.
Luke and Greg visit a Seminole Indian Reservation where women are making colorful patchwork clothing, dolls, and beaded jewelry. They learn the cultural significance of the beautiful Seminole jewelry. Then they sit around a big fire pit and listen to some of the old Indian legends.
Luke’s dream sequence introduces him to a special patrol team. He and Greg join the team to hunt and capture a python, the most dangerous predator in the Everglades. When Luke wakes up, Greg tells him about environmentalists like Jimmy Buffet. When the world is safe for all animals, Luke’s shooting star wish will come true.”
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