Thursday, March 20, 2014

ALLIGATORS! Go To Paynes Prairie! Do It Now!

Get to Paynes Prairie State Preserve before the waters recede and soak up some psuedodinotopia.

Our very wet spring has flooded the prairie and concentrated the gators around bits of high ground like the elevated dike at Alachua Sink.
The sink is always a decent place to see gators, but the current conditions have them up close and personal.

One tough mudder.
He'd make an exciting obstacle at a Savage or Spartan Race.

Along with the alligators, the real dinosaurs are easy to watch too.
This anhinga was working the shoreline and just nailing the small fish in the emergent plants.
I love the thought of a bird that can outswim fish.
 

"Snakebird" comes from the front end of the is bird, and the other common name "Water Turkey" comes from the stern end and that awesome fan tail.



Just one of many massive gators sunning on the dike, hmmm ... didn't see ANY small ones, and these big ones were really looking well fed ...

The park signs warn to keep at least 20 feet from the resting gators and that is not a rule to break.
They are pretty accustomed to people walking by ..." so much food, so close ...", but like any big predator, they deserve respect and space.

It's pretty awesome and it's a temporary abundance, because eventually, the waters will recede and the gators will have other options on the huge preserve for hauling out and sunning.

Go.
See.
Gators.

7 comments:

Pablo said...

I am too timid for this kind of sight seeing. Fortunately I don't have to go because PURE FLORIDA!

threecollie said...

I will totally pass on the gators, but thank you for the anhinga. I have only ever seen one, on the lone trip to your state that I was privileged to make, and it was a thrill. Fine to see one again.

Julie Zickefoose said...

How I would love to bring my two youngun's here to see these gators. Thanks for passing along a local temporary phenomenon. I'm hollering much the same thing about the woodcocks tuning up in Ohio, and have friends harping about salamander migrations. We all sing our tunes, wherever we be.

Sayre said...

I love gators... I think it's time for a trip down to the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge!

Wally Jones said...

That's a really wonderful area to tromp around in!

Locally (Polk/Hardee Counties), the 'gators are enjoying our warm, damp Spring. Found a proud mama with 14 gatorlings last week.
(Double that 20 foot safe distance for a mama with babies!)

Love the water turkeys!

robin andrea said...

I would love to see those gators. Such a shame that they are 2,766 miles from here, and that's the quickest route. Google maps said it would take only 40 hours to drive if left right now!

R.Powers said...

Robin,
ONLY 2,766 miles and 40 hours?
You are practically next door.
:)

Wally,
I agree, 40 feet sounds good with gator mamas!

Sayre,
That is a great place to see them. Love that refuge.

Julie,
How true.
There is wonder everywhere and we have only to get outside to be part of it.
I love me some amphibs!

3Collie,
I get that. Sometimes I envy those north of the gator line, who can toss a tennis ball into a lake for their dog without any worries.

Pablo,
We aim to please.