By Judy Berman
When our daughter, Danielle, went to Florida State University, I worried about gators.
No, not those Gators – FSU’s main rival, the University of Florida. But, alligators.
OK, I worried about many things with her being hundreds of miles away from home. But, gators were high on that list of concerns.
Danielle just joked that the landlord used the gators for speed bumps in their Tallahassee apartment complex’s parking lot.
Truth be told. She and her husband never saw an alligator UNTIL we moved to Florida. Then, those reptiles seemed to be everywhere.
I should have known when I spotted a photo of a gator ringing a doorbell at a home in Hilton Head, South Carolina, that they were quite intrusive.
This poor chap’s excuse, apparently, was that he was drawn to their home by the smell of teriyaki chicken that the homeowners were grilling on their back porch.
The homeowners wisely moved inside once they spotted the gator in a nearby lagoon.
So what brings these creatures that roamed the earth millions of years ago to our neck of the woods?
“Oh,” they drawl with that big toothy grin, “the swimming hole is just fine, there’s plenty of wildlife to share a meal with, and we’d love to be invited in to chat with your guests and cats.”
An adult alligator is about 13 feet long and weighs up to 800 pounds. The largest ever recorded was found in Louisiana and measured 19 feet, 2 inches, according to Animal Corner.
Dave and I can’t seem to get away from them. We went to the Everglades, and, of course, the gators were there – in abundance.
One came out of the pond and crossed a path that we had naively walked around just a few hours earlier.
Then, a tourist stepped off the platform we were on to get a closer – too close for my comfort – photo of the alligator.
I was camera-ready for the money-shot. The gator just nonchalantly walked on by.
Just imagine that alligator acting like a boss on the golf course.
Not sure if golfers at Myakka Pines Golf Club in Englewood decided to run in a straight line or to zigzag to avoid a confrontation with that huge beast. Either way works, or so they say.
I’d be on the first golf cart out of there. And, the song I’d be singing on my way to the 19th hole: “See ya’ later, alligator … ”
What wildlife is intriguing or too close for comfort in your neck of the woods?
Music Video: Bill Haley sings “See You Later, Alligator” – that’s the tune I’ll be singing when I see one. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ch1UQ47rWKU
Main Photo: Alligator ready to cross a path in the Everglades where a tourist is standing about 20 feet away and taking photos. Too close for comfort. Photo: Judy Berman, 2005
Photo: Alligator rings doorbell at home in Hilton Head, South Carolina –Taken by Richard Holinski/Special to the Island Packet – 2006
Photo: Alligator with marshmallow in its mouth.
Photo: Alligator on Golf Course – Photographed at Myakka Pines Golf Club in Englewood, Florida – http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2015/03/11/check-out-the-pictures-of-a-massive-alligator-on-a-florida-golf-course-that-some-think-is-fake/
Link to ‘Living Among Alligators’ – provides an alligator safety guide – tips on how to avoid an attack by an alligator. http://www.crocodopolis.net/lwa_safety.htm