Monday, March 15, 2010

Alligator hunting

Ha, made you want to read more, huh?  When I told Wendy that we had been alligator hunting there was a long pause before she said "Why?"  Actually, we went to visit a place called the 
Alligator Creek Preserve, adjacent to the 30,000+acre Charlotte Harbor State Park Preserve.  It was a sunny day, but cool so not really a beach day.

As it turned out, it wasn't really an alligator day either.  There are about 4 miles of hiking trails throughout the preserve.  Hiking is actually an over exaggeration; the trails were flat, carved out of the vegetation and a little muddy since it had recently rained.  We only saw a few other people on the 1.5 mile trail we chose. 

The first pond we came to was very murky, the perfect place for alligators, or so we thought.  None were to be seen even though there were "Don't Feed the Alligator" signs everywhere.  This bird was the best we could do.
Look closely, it's right in the middle of the photo.  We think it's an egret.  As it stands in the tall foliage it waves it's long neck back and forth, apparently imitating the movement of the surrounding plants.  It's fun to watch; kind of mesmerizing.  

We came across one other pond, very nice and blue (no photos, oops) but didn't see any alligators there either.  The only other wildlife we saw was a red-bellied woodpecker and Mr. Bill spotted the south end of an armidillo heading north.  Mr. Bill wasn't quite ready with the camera so there aren't any photos of these either.  The armidillo was moving quickly (that's what I was told) so there wasn't much of a chance for a photo anyway.  Luckily, we didn't see any snakes but as I'm told, they are very abundant and several are poisonous.

The parking area closed at 3 and we didn't arrive till 1 so we didn't do more than one trail but plan to return when we have more time.  On our way out we spotted this...
Mr. Bill's cousin's name is Mac so we thought this was kind of funny.  We are now aware of two buildings named after the McGoverns.  The Mac McGovern Pavilion at the Alligator Creek Preserve and the McGovern Institute for Brain Research located at MIT in Cambridge.  I didn't know I was getting involved with such a famous family.

Mr. Bill continues to play and learn about his new camera.  He insisted on taking photos of me; however, in the future I would appreciate it if he didn't use his super duper z00m lens to take my picture.  After all, I don't need to see all the age lines I'm trying desperately to ignore.
This wasn't the closest one but I didn't want to scare you.  It didn't help that the sun was right in my face, causing me to squint, creating more lines and shadows.
This is better but I think the camera adds 10 pounds!  In my mind I'm much thinner.  That's probably why every pair of pants I try on is waaay too small.   At least you can't see the lines.  I'm standing under a tree covered with Spanish Moss (the stuff hanging down).  It's not part of the tree but lives on the tree.  There's a really cool story about the moss which you can read here.

It was a fun and interesting afternoon, even with no alligators.

Thanks for stopping by...

1 comment:

  1. I'd rather go there than Disney :)

    It looks like the portraits were taken with the sun almost directly overhead. That's never flattering. You should stand in the shade. You're in the habit of taking picture in the sun because that was a good idea with old point-and-shoot film cameras. They needed lots of light. Bill's camera can handle the shade :)