Thursday, February 28, 2008

One Mesozoic Morning

The rain last Friday night made it worth getting out early Saturday morning for a quick jaunt into Devils Hammock. I had a feeling that a combination of abundant rain and warmer temps might get things moving in the 6000 acre wildlife management area.
Besides, the rain had washed the mud off the JEEP and the rough dirt roads through the park would offer plenty of puddles to redecorate it.
I was thinking about birds on the move when I left the house, but they were scarce on this first humid warm morning of 2008.
Turns out, it was their cousins who were out and about ...

A regular perch judging from the flattened grasses behind this basker.
Are we seeing ribs?
Winter is a time of scarcity for gators, but things will get better soon.

The classic "gator on the prowl" view.
If you love the real gator nation like me, you might enjoy this site.


This gator was huge to be lying in a shallow mud puddle fully exposed. He was so intent on soaking up the first true warmth of the season that he never moved, even when I walked to the puddle's edge for the photo session.
When I look at him in a full close up view, I have no trouble picturing dinosaurs.

No trouble at all.

The rest of this little 5 footer's body was up on the bank, as if he couldn't decide on going in or getting out.
I cropped down to show just his pretty face ... and the sweet way his eyes and nostrils are raised just enough to allow him to work while remaining hidden beneath the surface.




Thus ends my tale.





Well, almost ...
...did I mention I'm being duct taped to the cafeteria wall today?
No?

Another post I guess.

26 comments:

pablo said...

I'm pretty sure we don't have gators in Missouri, though some sharks did manage to swim all the way up the Mississippi River once and make an appearance at the St. Louis Riverfront.

tsiya said...

The first one has a nice smile!

tai haku said...

Nice 'gators FC - on the big ancient reptile front have you ever been out to see the American crocs?

Doug Taron said...

The second to the last photo reminds me of De Niro in Taxi Driver. "You talkin' to me??"

Anonymous said...

fc the gator in the mud puddle dident move when you got close is because you were on the spring menu more like main corse. IF YOU GOTTEN TO CLOSE.great pic.good luck with the duct tape.S T E B

threecollie said...

Oooh, cold chills...don't know if it's the gators or the weather, but I am leaning toward the former.

Laura said...

I'm so glad you didn't have the dogs with you. ;)

I like that last photo, too. what a parting shot!

By the way, was there a "sign" around, warning about the gators? Or well... anything at all? (g)

roger said...

the steely stare of the gator in your header photo adds layers of meaning to the tag line of your motto "...we participate." well, in my small brain anyway.

robin andrea said...

Amazing gator photos, fc. I hope you have a really good telephoto zoom on that camera.

Enjoy the duct taping session. There will be pictures, right?

FloridaBoy said...

I presume you mean the Devil's Hammock re Waccasassa River? Otherwise? I need to explore the former in non-mosquito weather, real soon.

The Troll said...

In case you were wondering, it would not be wise to bring one home to protect the chickens and piglet.

kathy a. said...

gater-rama! i do hope you share the duct tape photos!

Sharon said...

Go Gators! :) Duct tape, huh? At least they're not shaving your head. :) (are they??)

elpbulls said...

Great pictures Daddy can't wait to hear about the duct taping! Love ya!

ImagineMel said...

umm, yeah...thanks for telling me that. *shudder*
So, yeah, even though I live smack dab in the city I've had 1) gator 2) otter 3) turkeys 4) ninjas - in my yard. :)

Deb said...

re: the duct tape thing...now there's something that doesn't happen every day! Will there be photos?

My brother and I used to beg to go to the Alligator Farm in St. Augustine. Then we saw a couple wild gators in the St. John's, near where we went swimming off the neighbor's dock. We weren't so keen on swimming after that.

Floridacracker said...

Pablo,
I'm sure they were Bull Sharks ... very euryhaline.

Tsiya,
He's daydreaming about poodles.

Tai,
Never. I've never mucked around in the southern tip long where I could come across a wild croc.
Darn it.

Doug,
LOL! Spot on!

STEB,
Yes, he'd have been happy to dine on FC bits.


3C,
Probably a combo of your snow and my reptiles!
:)


Laura,
No, my nearsighted ol pups would not do well near these gators.
No signs here ... one of the things I love about Devils Hammock is the lack of signs, pavement, anything. It's rough.
I think I'm going to fail my homework asSIGNment.
:)

roger,
"steely stare" ... perfect. he's definitely got one.
he's the one with the small brain, not you!

Robin,
I always keep a respectful distance between me and gators over 4 feet long. Too powerful and unpredictable to do otherwise. Glad you enjoyed these gators!

Floridaboy,
Welcome! Yes, that Devil's Hammock. The mosquitoes were out, but not bad the day I took these.
Better hurry.


Troll,
Dang! Okay, I'll take it back.


Kathy A,
You betcha! See below for the duct tape explanation.

Sharon,
Time is shaving my head.

Emma,
Wish you were there with me!
Love ya!


Mel,
It's the ninjas you have to be wary of... hey pay day tomorrow!!

Deb,
Nothing like a gator surfacing nearby to ruin a good swim!

TO ALL,
THE DUCT TAPING WAS POSTPONED AT THE LAST MINUTE BY THE JUNIOR CLASS PRESIDENT.
IT'S A FUND RAISER CALLED "FLY ON THE WALL" WHERE THEY SELL LENGTHS OF DUCT TAPE WHICH IS USED TO TAPE ME TO THE WALL AS I STAND ON A CHAIR.
WHEN THE TAPING IS COMPLETE, THEY PULL THE CHAIR OUT AND I REMAIN (THEORETICALLY) STUCK TO THE WALL.
WHEN THEY RESCHEDULE, I WILL POST ABOUT IT.
THE THINGS I DO...

Cathy said...

'pretty' . . 'sweet' .. . .
Question. How close were you to these dear creatures?

I just duct tapped my side mirror back on today. I hope they do a better job with you.

Cathy said...

Too funny. We posted at the same time and I see you got a reprieve. Make sure they use the 'good' stuff.

Floridacracker said...

Cathy, Ahhh the eye of the beholder.
How close ... no closer than 8 feet to the banner gator, the rest were probably 15 feet away.
Water separated us and that is their element, so I didn't do any wading for closer shots!
I'm hoping they have a spotter to catch me!

cinbad122 said...

These are the best photos! I love them!

OldHorsetailSnake said...

To the alligator cafeteria wall? You so confuse me....

FloridaBoy said...

Indeed, I did visit Devil's Hammock today - see my blog:
http://floridadayadventures.blogspot.com/

Saw no 'gators but did see a bunch of wildflowers, white and blue violets, sage, yellow-eyed grass, swamp dogwood, innocence...

And heard a BIG woodpecker knocking on wood...

Floridacracker said...

Cinbad,
Don't forget I have to take you out to see the big tree!
FFA thingie tomorrow though.

Hoss,
I know, I know, it's very strange around here.

Floridaboy,
I just finished reading your fern caving post.

edifice rex said...

Those creatures really creep me out; glad we don't have them here. The third photo has a wonderful abstract quality to it though. The swirls in the water echo the swirls and jaggedness of the gator so well and with the almost monochromatic color scheme it is really nice. I'd like to see that one blown up and maybe a little cropping to bring out the abstract quality a little more. Oh BTW, your blog broke in my brand new computer with this first comment!

Floridacracker said...

Edifice,
Your artist is showing :)
I'm honored to be the first stop for your new computer!
I hope things are looking up in Alabama.