I saw my first alligator in the wild today! Dan took me to a place called Sawgrass Lake Park. The park is really a swamp, around a lake, with raised boardwalks throughout so you can walk safely through. It is like a jungle, there is so much old vegetation. It is allowed to just grow, with no interference. There are giant live oaks, the root systems pulled out by hurricanes and other big storms, and they are still alive because there is so much moisture here.
It was hot, but not too terribly bad today. It was about 90° but the humidity was only about 60%, which is actually pretty low for here. We walked about a mile, but we were not uncomfortable. We did apply considerable bug spray before we set out though.
The picture above is the first alligator we saw, under a little rest area that has benches to sit down on. It looked to be about 4 or 5 ft long from nose to tip of his tail. The tails are really long on alligators! They are about half their body length. Dan says, if you eat alligator that’s the part you eat, the tail. He’s had it, I don’t think I’ll ever be that adventurous in my eating. He was very still, and seemed to be staying in water that was in the shade.
The second alligator was quite a bit bigger. I’m guessing from the part of him that was visible, he might have been 8 ft long or so. It was pretty exciting! We ran into a couple who said they’d spotted 6 alligators on their walk. We only saw those two, but we only walked a little over a mile of the trails. We both thought that you’d probably see more in the winter here, when they come out of the water to sun themselves. It’s so hot now, that they get plenty of heat staying in the water.
We also saw a couple of big turtles. They were swimming and we didn’t get a clear enough view of them to know what kind they were, but maybe snapping turtles. About 15” in diameter. I couldn’t snap a pic of them. They were swimming on the surface for only a couple moments, and then dove a bit deeper.
It was an interesting walk, and we only drove about 10 minutes to get there. I think our next move is to get into the pool and the hot tub, and get the bug spray off.
Love and light to all.