Sunday, July 01, 2012

Kissimmee Prairie Gators

See the large alligator in the photo above?

How about now?

This gator is big ... 7-8 feet, and it was up on the bank resting in tall grass when I walked up to the wetland area.

I never saw it until it jumped up on all four legs and KAFLOOSHED into the water.

It does give you pause when they do that.

Kissimmee Prairie is a "dry" prairie. The word "Dry" is a necessary adjective here in Florida, because we do have "Wet" prairies.  Both prairie types can be wet or dry seasonally, but they are labeled according to the most common conditions.
True to form, Kissimmee Prairie ("KP" for the rest of this post) was mostly dry, even though the whole state had received pretty decent rains from TS Debbie a few days before.
It's a prairie, so trees are clumped here and there, but mostly it is open wiregrass and saw palmetto as far as the eye can see.

I can just imagine this KP in peak wildflower season.

My hiking had been mostly through open, dry habitats, so I was happy when I came across a wetland area with pig frogs grunting and fish dimpling the surface.

There were gators too.

I don't think I have ever shot this rear view of a gator's head before.

I like it. 

This gator came cruising quietly up after I began my sadly deficient baby gator grunt call. It came from a long distance so I am giving credit to the sounds I was making, even if they were lacking in alligatorialaccuracy.

I had not practiced the nasal squeaky grunt baby gators emit for a long time, so don't laugh to hard at my expense when you watch the video.

(You already watched it didn't you? Cheater.)

While I was grunting this one in, (and marveling that she fell for it), there was a commotion out in the reeds.

I switched from still shots to video in time to catch a much larger, much more cranky, alligator charging towards my location.
So the video is a bit jerky ... I wasn't expecting that.

Now, some might say, "Gee, FC, you're a real gator whisperer. You just called that big mama right to ya'!"

I think the real truth may be that she was just irritated by my poor imitation of a baby gator.

You know, like that feeling you get when you hear some sports announcer idiot or a college kid on the local NPR  station mispronnounce word after word,  and you just want to smite them?

Whatever the reason, she was impressive, even at a distance.

This trip to the wide open prairie, this gator, the grainy non HD video, and some missed shots have finally pushed me over the edge and I think it's time for a new camera.

I found the sales receipt yesterday, and my super reliable Sony Cybershot DSC-H5, 12x zoom, 7.2 mp camera is 6 years old.

The time has come.


robin andrea said...

Sure is pretty there, FC. Love the "dry" prairie. It looks so lush and green. Nice job getting those alligators moving.

threecollie said...

Y'know, I have been working hard the past couple of years, learning to "pish" birds out of the shrubbery so I can see what the heck they are. Got a yellow warbler and a common yellowthroat the other day. You make me feel so inadequate. lol Great video!

Tree Hugger - Suzan said...

You better not get too good with that baby gator call or you'll find all the Big Mamma Gators coming to visit you!!
Also, you may want to wait a year or two more for the Google Glasses! Check them out!! Amazing & perfect for what you would use them for!! They're $1500. now, but will be $19.99 in a couple of years :-}}

Sandcastle Momma said...

Very cool FC! Your baby gator calls sound good to me and I've heard real ones often. Once, I was in the swamp around the Choctawhatchee River with hubby's grandfather and we heard babies very close. Papa said "Get back in the boat!" and seconds after we got in the boat a 10 foot mama came crashing out of the swamp towards us. Scary as hell but something I'll never forget.
Thanks for the pics and the memory you brought to mind.

Caroline said...

See Aunty Belle's post today, you are fixin' to be the next Cap'n Hook if you keep calling in gators!

Bill said...

Bill said...

Disregard the link above. Somehow your Captcha entry got stuck on the end.

Floridacracker said...

LOL! Dry is relative here in FL.

At least a warbler won't bite your legs off if you call one in close!
I really wasn't expecting such a robust response.

$19.95 + $1480.05 shipping and handling right?

SandCastle Momma,
Sheesh! That was a close one.
Glad you got back in the boat.Thanks for the support on that gator call ... LOL!

Read her post and point taken!

I have the brand new Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX200V 18.2 MP Exmor R CMOS Digital Camera with 30x Optical Zoom and 3.0-inch LCD (Black) (2012 Model) in my Amazon cart right now.
Just have to click to make it mine ... after I see about this leaky roof repair.

Aunty Belle said...

uh, yeah...looky, din't yore mama teach ya' to keep clear away from them gators?

Reckon y'all survived Debby?

Aunty Belle said...

@ Caroline

No kiddin'!!

But ya may deserve it--comin' this close to Aunty's POrch an' not comin' by fer a "howdy do"

Floridacracker said...

LOL! You know, when I was a kid, seeing a gator was a rare event. They were so over hunted.
I mean, the Woolworth's had baby ones for sale in the aquarium section, but I swam in places I would never swim today, cuz gators were just not on my 12 year old mind.
I am sufficiently chastized for my poor visitng manners.

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