Our Florida Alligator
For those of you kind enough to come here, I thank you with all my heart.
Today is my “one month” anniversary on WordPress and your support has overwhelmed me.
If you are curious, and why wouldn’t you be, about where the title of this Blog came from, it is this.
Many years ago on our first trip to Florida, we went to the Everglades.
My parents were living in Miami Beach at the time and we thought it would be a fun day trip.
It was the middle of August and in South Florida, August is not when you want to be in the Everglades.
The mosquitoes are like a black blanket that covers everything there.
For two people from Los Angeles, where there are few and I do mean few bugs, it was pretty terrifying.
We spent an entire day there and what we saw, was never to be forgotten and started my love affair with this breathtaking place called Florida.
Now for how this Blog got its name.
Now for how this Blog got its name.
On that day, just as we were driving in and being very stupid tourists, we pulled over at the sight of our first Alligator resting peacefully on the side of the road.
Now being the idiot that I was, I got out of the car and walked toward this creature I knew nothing about, both hands stretched out like I was going to pet it.
I have a picture of the moment, which has lost itself somewhere in this house, one day to be found again, I hope.
The Alligator was not full-grown, maybe only four feet long, but it could have done some damage, if it has chosen to.
Instead it simply laid there, I am sure thinking, ” this has got to be a joke, stupid tourist. “
Because it did nothing, I turned and walked back to the car and we drove on.
Only after moving down here nearly ten tears ago, did I realize how very lucky I had been that day.
So, when we became permanent Florida residents, I started a web site and called it “Walking with the Alligators” out of my gratitude for what might have been that day and deep respect for what I consider one of this state’s greatest treasures, the Alligator.
So, as you can imagine, when they announced on the News here last night that they were looking for Alligator Trappers in Lake County, to “Dispose of Nuisance Alligators,” I was pretty steamed.
People come here, to this last Garden of Eden in the United States, with its splendiferous array of wildlife and then when our animals do what they normally do in the wild, these idiots go nuts, calling Fish and Wildlife whining, ” Come get these things out of my yard. “
“Well, duh, you are in their yard, you morons, so why don’t you get out. “
I have zero patience for city people who want to come here, to my newly adopted home and change it, or kill all that makes it the National Treasure that it is.
Florida is truly a spectacular collection of wild life and wild places and it deserves to be respected for just that.
And if this is a problem for you, please go back where you came from.
Florida is wonderful and I understand how you are feeling. 😦 I’ve been there myself and think it’s one of the most beautiful states in the US I have seen so far. It’s just hard to make people understand…
Thank you for your insightful thinking.
I have been coming here since the 1970’s, when my parents first moved here.
Over the years I have watched in absolute horror as wild place after place turned ugly, or simply went away.
The stunning wildlife that once flourished everywhere, are being driven away or just killed outright, by those who want to turn this paradise into another metropolis.
The thought of this, is incomprehensible and unacceptable~
We humans seem to think we own this planet. There are other opinions.
Thanks for the ‘like’ on my blog! The sentiments you express here about alligators are nearly the exact words I’ve used when talking about our native population of bear and mountain lion. People come here and build their mansions in the wilderness. They talk about how wonderful it is to live with the wildlife but they are talking about the vegetarian wildlife. They like to sit on their porch and watch the deer and elk graze in their yards (just as long as they leave the flower gardens alone!) They are shocked and indignant that the other wildlife, the carnivorous kind, has the gall to look in their windows and eat their cats. “There was a bear on my front door step!”….”well, your doorstep is in his livingroom!” I’ts good to hear you commune with your carnivorous wildlife… just not too close, okay? 🙂
Oh joy. Welcome to my world.
A kindred spirit you are~
Please do go see my Blog post “The Visitors.”
It should make you smile!!
I know how you feel. I used to work a wildlife hotline here for injured and orphaned wildlife, until realizing that a job and raising the wildlife on my home left me with zero spare time!! One of the reasons I left was that I just couldn’t handle the nuisance calls. My permit only allows me to deal with injured and orphaned wildlife. I personally know a company that will humanely remove and relocate wild animals, but they charge you. And I’m glad they do! Makes people think twice about whether that raccoon in a tree across the street is really that big of a problem!
For me, I completely lost it when a caller threatened to injure a bird just so that I’d have to pick it up. I was *more* than happy to inform him of the Migratory Species Act and the potential penalties of such an act.
But, for every one of those calls, I’d get at least 10 who were people willing to rescue a baby after mom died and bring it to the nearest Rehabber! Or 5-10 people who were thrilled to watch Mom take care of her fledglings on the ground as they learned to fly. Or reunite or renest babies…
The only reason I would want a gator in my yard relocated (not disposed of) would be if I had small children in that yard. And that’s only if its big. We have some baby gators at work and they are some of the most adorable critters I’ve ever seen!!
Thank you for your support of your wild neighbors! It’s great to see!
Thank you so much for explaining the unexplainable. Perhaps those who read it may better understand. These remarkable creatures are not called “wild life” because they are pets, they are wild. And they should be allowed to remain just that, wild. They were all here first, we owe them respect and a place of their own to call home.
As a note, I became trained last year to catch and relocate dangerous reptiles, such as our state endangered species of rattlesnake, the canebrakes. The bonus is that relocating venomous and other dangerous animals allows the state to place them in protected areas.
I love your site! I have been around gators forever, and they will harm no one unless they are harmed or purposefully agitated. The only time I have seen them aggressive is when you get to close to a females nest. I had a hiss, and a big smile from a momma. However, she didn’t come after me. She warned me not to get close to her babies. Any good mother will did that.
Thank you for the kind words. We went to Merritt Island WR our first year down here and learned what an unhappy mamma gator sounded like, first hand! The kind person next to us in the rest stop warned us, “ummm, that is not a bull frog, it is a mamma gator and you’d better get back in the car, now!” We never saw her!
I live in the Los Angeles wilderness, yes, there is such a thing, and I behave like a guest in my backyard, while trying to keep my dogs safe: coyotes, rattlesnakes, deer, gophers, hawks and even the occasional mountain lion are all welcome. It’s me who is trespassing and I am very grateful to be able to share this land with the original inhabitants. Lovely blog.
I totally agree! Every now and then I see on the news how a wild cat is roaming the city streets and how they must hunt it down (or hopefully tranq it and send it back? ) But we continuously take away their home, food, and life style! Where else are they supposed to go?!
We have wolves, bobcats, and coyotes passing through sometimes. It amazes me how the people here are so afraid of these animals (they love the macho images of wolves on their pickups I’ve noticed). There is reason, of course, to be wary and cautious around them, but to trap and poison them out of existence? I walk my woods several times a month for hours at at time day or night with my camera and stick. I have yet to see any of these predators, just their scat or kills or hear their calls.
And the beavers are blamed for floods all the time. Doesn’t matter if it has rained everyday for a week. I was once berated by a neighbor for allowing beavers to exist on my property. I told him “They were here first”.
Also, thanks for liking and following my blog.
The people who complain the most are usually the snow bird types.
They are much like those who displaced many Native Americans,
uninvited guests who should be respectful of those who were the original inhabitants.