It has been an incredibly dry winter in South Florida - areas that normally had shallow slowly moving water were dry. Lack of water concentrates wading birds and alligators. It is hard to find alligators in summer when there is plenty of rainfall. Then the river is fifty miles or more wide.
The clouds in the Everglades offer birders the chance of brief shade and the threat of thunderstorms. More than once the rain has been so fierce that we had to stop and wait because, even when no traffic, it was impossible to see to drive even slowly.
Here is a close up of the saw grass - soil is the driest I have seen, although I am far from an expert on the Everglades. I do know it very well as a visiting birder.