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Saturday, August 8, 2009

Gator sighting...

Once locals learn that you will soon be a permanent resident of FL they cannot help but share the many tales of the local
wildlife....especially about the snakes and alligators. Of course the stories do have merit, just a few weeks ago one guy woke up and decided to do some gardening. He headed to the Walmart located off of US 1 to purchase some plants and supplies. He wandered around putting Items Into his cart, just as he was reaching for a plant....tucked behind the plant he was reaching for was a pygmy rattler and sadly for the man, he Indeed was bitten.

I listen to most of the stories and smile for I just may never encounter any of the poisonous snakes....however being surrounded by water....chances that the dogs and I actually run I\into something....well the odds that we do increase due to the fact we are surrounded by water.

When walking my neighborhood we pass a section that is very woodsy and has a sign that says "Natural Preserves"....meaning swamp land ;) As of yet the only creatures I have seen come out of this area is very large birds. It is not bad enough being told about the gators and snakes I have been told there are wild hogs, not seen any of those either....and would prefer not to for they can be very aggressive. I am not a national geographic photographer and while I love to photograph nature...getting that close and personal I can do without...this Is the reason I purchased a long lens ;-)

There are times when just taking the dogs for a quick pee has been challenging for they will spy, sense, smell something in the woods and appear frightened...more often then not I respect their senses...sometimes though, they are a little off...

Since moving Into the house, once night falls Rocky makes several trips to the door next to my studio, he growls, and growls. This has become a nightly activity....the first, second and sometimes third time he does this all the dogs take part by rushing the door, hackles up...barking ready to defend Rocky, territory, After a while, they do not bother, though Rocky continues to guard, scare away something only he sees.

The first few nights that this behavior first appeared I would put the outside lights on, look out to see what the fuss was about...never noticed anything. I have a sneaking suspicion he Is actually growling at his own reflection ;-)
Yesterday I finally got around to hanging something to cover the glass in the door...stays open during the day for I love the light coming through, however once dusk, I close it....worked like a charm for while he went to the door a couple of times he returned without a sound.

When we leave the house, before walking off the patio I do my best to survey If anything is in the grass....survey the woods out back....see nothing we all leave the covered patio where we risk getting bitten up by a horrible...sneaky and nasty critter, the mosquito. Some day's they are not a bother, other days they are
terrible....just like It was when we stayed at the beach house.

Bailey loves to roll around in the grass and every time he does this....even though before coming back inside I run my hands through his coat....attached to him Is usually a little lizard. That keeps me busy for I then must around trying to catch and release back In the yard.
On occasion a frog will also find his way inside....the tree frogs like to suction themselves on anything that does not move....especially the glass....around all windows and doors, lots of frog and lizard poop...even on the glass...frog art!

Two weeks ago...a lovely Sunday afternoon I took Niki out for a stroll around the yard...she got to play touch and kick ball...just as we were headed back to the patio I stopped for I thought I saw something in
the water. Now, I have Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis and inflammation can effect your vision, and it has In my case. Adding to the problem is the fact as we age we have a difficult time vision at times is very blurry even with my glasses. so...on this lovely sunny, summer afternoon I was pretty certain I was watching an alligator lazily floating in the pond. I watched for a while and then retreated back in the house with Niki, got my camera and returned to watch and
photograph. get an estimate of size for I was told once they reach a certain length they can be moved elsewhere....of course while I have no fear in being a lizard and frog wrangler....I would call a professional for the gator ;-)

As I watched it appeared to sink down into the water a bit, to soon emerge enough to get a few photographs. I tracked him for a good part
of the afternoon....just snapping away certain that I got some awesome shots ;-)

Imagine my surprise when I got around to putting the card into the card reader on the Mac to see a log that through my eyes, on that sunny, summer afternoon oh so appeared to be an alligator, though it does closely resemble an alligator...don't you agree ;-)

Bad vision and over active imagination made for a pretty exciting day!



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