See ya later Alligator…

The next day we had a day exploring around the state park on our bicycles.  We set off to the nearest alligator pond, which was only about 20 meters away!

If I can’t sleep at night I sometimes think about what animals might be in the park we are staying in.  …these parks and infact most places we have been to are rich in animal life, that has been a very pleasant surprise about the US.  Here I have thought about alligators.  We have been in alligator territory since Galveston.  I would like very much to see one, but they give me the creeps, they like swampy water, they are nocturnal, they are purely instinctive, ie if they are hungry, they will find something (anything) to eat, they can lunge and jump and run fast for a short distance.  An altogether beastly creature.  But I would still like to see one.

Anyway, at the first alligator pond I was nervously scanning the area.  I decided to do a bit of filming and was just talking about a girl we had just been chatting to that volunteers in the park.  She is fine with all the animals in the park but she is very afraid of snakes.  She told us she was down here at this pond fishing with her husband and kids when a snake slithered towards them. That’s her son below at the alligator pond…

She got such a fright, she threw her reel into the water, pushed her kids aside and ran all the way back to their coach-the scene it conjures up is really funny.  I was recounting this on my video while scanning for alligators, so feeling pretty vulnerable when my damned husband came around behind me and grabbed my ankle.  I thought for sure the alligator had got me.  He thought it was hilarious, I screamed and cried out and got an instant headache-bloody bastard.

Anyway nothing to see there, so we set off further afield checking out the park and the beach as we went.

When we got to another alligator pond we saw one!

A family were by the bank coaxing it closer as if it were Paddington Bear.  If that beast had wanted to lunge out for their 6 year old son he would have got him for sure, but the family were unphased and had grown up in the area, swam with them infact! (everyone around here tells us that they used to swim with them…)  They told us it was average size, there are some here much bigger.

They said the ponds are well stocked with fish, crabs etc that the alligators aren’t hungry for people.  I must say this alligator seemed very graceful, almost playful as the family were playing with it using a long stick,  it was clearly watching us all, I had a sense it was taking in the scene.  I got more of a fright earlier by that husband of mine.  We did a bit more exploring then back to the coach.

 

Later that evening I insisted husband put his unfinished chardonnay in the fridge and accompany me back to the pond as apparently the alligators get quite active in the evening.  Sadly we didn’t see anymore but we did see hundreds of huge white herons flying in from all directions to nest in some trees in the middle of the pond, that was worth being out for!

It was a great stay at this state park.  It was unique in every way.  Tomorrow we leave for Savannah, Georgia.