Sunday, February 8, 2009

Hundreds of Alligators!!

The frigid weather followed me right on down to Key West, so yesterday I decided to drive north and sneak up on some warmer weather elsewhere. Instead of taking I-75 (aka "Alligator Alley") back across the state, I took Hwy 41 (Tamiami Trail) west from Miami towards Naples.

I have REALLY been wanting to see alligators roaming around in the wild for quite some time now, and I always keep an eye out for them any time I am near the Everglades. I didn't see a single alligator on this trip heading over to the Keys, so on the way back I kept my fingers crossed and looked even harder.

Let me just say that I was finally in the right place, at the right time. Not only did I see one alligator, but I saw HUNDREDS of them. Once I spotted my first one, I started spotting them just a few feet apart from eachother....and for miles! and miles! and miles! They were laying on rocks, relaxing in the water, and also hanging out on the shore next to a little stream running along-side the road. Every time I pulled over I was seriously close to them. It was just awesome. Such huge reptiles...

I really expected them to be greener, but they were really dark, almost black. I highly doubt that so many of them normally hang out along-side the road, but it was extremely chilly yesterday, so I think they must have been trying to soak up the sunshine next to the shore. It was perfect timing driving by, since the sun was nicely high in the sky. And since they must have been cold, they were moving really slow yesterday (I was very pleased about that). I hear that May is the time to stay away from them (mating season).

To-Do: See an alligator in the wild

Alright, I can finally cross that one off the list!






5 comments:

Reamus said...

Whoa!

Always good to see them when they crawl out to warm uo too, as you guessed. They have been colder than you are---it alsoaffects their color, but so does age..

MsBelinda said...

I don't know why but they give me the creeps...

Thought about you guys yesterday when the weather channel mentioned how cold it was down in Florida.

Stay warm and happy trails.

Terry said...

Sonja:

Way cool. I have seen an aligator or two while out painting in Daytona Beach. Scary, they just walk up to you.

Great job with the photos, and thanks for the memories.

Terry

barefootboatnik said...

Whoo! Gators are some downright majestic animals.. we've got tons here in Charleston. I had a friend who found one wrapped around his water heater in the garage a few years back.. scared him half to death! They're definitely not as endangered as they once were, and even though they're generally shy animals, they're getting bigger in the wild.. they've had to put down two 12 footers recently here, which was sad but necessary (both were involved in attacks on people). Be careful taking those photos!

Keeper said...

Plenty of rattle snakes in the area you are in so be careful. Nice pictures.