It’s not uncommon for us to see an alligator cruising down the middle of the small lake behind our house. Well, really it’s a retention pond for all that rain that Florida gets, but I think “lake” sounds nicer. When we have visitors, we hope that the resident alligator will show himself for their benefit. What’s the use of traveling all the way to Florida if you don’t get to see an alligator at least once.
Our visitor this week was escaping the chill temperatures in Missouri. Maybe he would have been satisfied with just Florida sunshine and dinner on the lanai. He hit it lucky though, getting sunshine, 80 degree days, and THREE alligators. First we saw one, just barely showing its head above water. Then we spotted the second one further down the lake. A short while later, the two of them looked quite cosy resting on the shore across the lake. I took my camera with its 20X zoom down to my neighbor’s yard to get a closer photo of the pair. They appeared to be at least 6-8 feet in length. It’s hard to judge.
While looking for a good angle, I noticed a small alligator just a stone’s throw away from me on my side of the lake. Quickly I snapped a picture of it, then tried getting a little closer. Splash! He hit the water running and was gone in no time. Oh, well, I still had the two larger gators to capture. With the zoom, I could see them pretty well and took several shots. Here are the three alligators that were in our lake:
Winter’s are dry in Florida, but this year seemed particularly devoid of rain. The pretty lakes in our community withdrew from their shoreline and some became fetid as the 80 and 90 degree days sucked up the moisture this spring. I quit taking photo walks with my camera. Too hot and too few wildflowers to capture.
Finally it rained. It wasn’t just the afternoon thunderstorm that Florida specializes in most summer days. Somehow the lows, pressure systems and other weather factors conspired to produce days and days of rain. Thunder, lightning, heavy rain, a brief smattering of hail, steady hours of rain, drizzle, then back to a downpour. Wow, in four days the lakes came back to cover the six or eight feet of barren shoreline. Now the waterline is high and touches the grass.
In between the rain, we managed to fit in nine holes of golf on Monday and twelve and a half holes on Wednesday. Each time we had to dash for home with rain pounding on the roof of the golf cart.
We’re ever so thankful to see the rain after such a prolonged period of drought. It pushes away the fire danger and perks up all the plants. Maybe tomorrow I can take my camera for a walk to capture pictures of mushrooms sprouting and wildflowers bursting into bloom. I’m hearing lots of frogs harrumphing in the distance. The egrets and herons will feast on those.
We’ve been living in Florida for almost five years now. I’m enjoying the Sunshine State very much, but being retired may contribute to that enjoyment. Hey, it’s fun to be on vacation all the time. Living in an area with warm winters means lots of time for outdoor activities. Just eating breakfast on the lanai in early March is a treat. This evening, three wild turkeys strolled by while we were out in our screen room.
I’ve written a number of articles about life in Florida. Here they are:
I’m pleased that my photos are getting some attention. Today the local newspaper (The Poinciana Pioneer) featured three of my wildlife photos. One was a photo of a deer, another was of an alligator, and the third was a sandhill crane and its chick.
Last week, the Webshots site featured one of my rose photos in a collection of rose pictures for Valentine’s Day. There were 200 downloads of it from Webshots last week. Anyway, it’s gratifying to see my pictures on display.