At least one day a week for a while, I thought I would share old road trips we have taken over the years. This one was back in 2014. We went to Florida, to the Everglades. I have never seen so many alligators in my life, to the point that I was more than a little leery. Most of the time we were looking down at them, but a few had made it to the pathways where we walked. I don't ever remember their number, a lot more than the previous trip we made a few years before, it seemed to me anyhow.
They seemed to be thriving.
It is around this time that they start looking for mates. The sounds they were making were surreal. What we at first thought all those years ago as very loud frogs, were in fact the sound of alligators calling to each other, and it was loud! We heard similar sounds on this visit, though they weren't quite as noisy.
I was startled to find a couple of alligators right next to the trail we were walking on.
They were on either side. You really had to be aware of your surroundings.
Do you see the Great Blue Heron on the left of the picture below?
We saw this large group at the end of one of the boardwalks. We were a lot higher than this looks.
A few of the tourists were getting too close to get a photo op in my humble opinion. I came across a man whom I thought was very unwise. He was asking his wife to take photographs of him with their two young children by one of the alligators right next to the trail. The three of them were hunched down to get the alligator in view. I couldn't hear what the mother was saying, but I could tell by her expression and the sound of her voice that she wasn't happy, and in the meantime he was telling her to take the photo, which she quickly did. Later as she and I were walking towards each other along the same path, we were passing the spot where the two alligators were on each side. We both were 'tight-rope' walking in the middle of the path, and as we looked at each other while keeping an eye on the alligators, in the universal language of the eye-roll which spoke volumes, we smiled and laughed nervously as we passed one another, and then walked on in the opposite direction.
They are wonderful creatures, however, and it was awesome seeing them in their own natural habitat. You just have to be sensible and treat them with the utmost respect.
As I walked by this big fellow I remembered the Ranger right next to us, telling someone that they aren't as slow as they look, they can run 20 miles per hour on land.
So, it is important not to take them for granted. Sleepy they may look but not really. You just have to use your common sense. Many of these photos were taken with a zoom lens. I was not as close as it looks.
We did, however, have a tremendous time making our way along the Anhinga Trail, and then walking along the boardwalk. They are an incredible sight to see.
On reflection, if I saw an alligator at the side of the trail like we did, I would head in the opposite direction. I can't move that fast these days. Frankly and you may think I am being overly cautious when I say this, I wouldn't want to take very young children here, no energetic toddlers who feel the need to run. I did see 12-13 year olds, being escorted by Park Rangers. These alligators all seemed as though they were resting or sleeping ....
but several had their eyes open, and seemed as interested in us as we were in them.
I am not sure if we will ever get back there, but I'm very glad we got to see them on this trip.
You feel like prehistoric times haven't disappeared at all.
Apologies for the groaner! I read it somewhere and I couldn't resist using it for my logo. The author was marked unknown.