Sunday, May 3, 2015

Close Encounters of the Alligator Kind

Sparky is at it again....Getting too close and personal with alligators...But not on purpose...(Yeah, right! says E. with consternation.) Well, the story goes like this...

Sparky was riding her bike through Lakewood Ranch, and there's a particular pond she has spotted an alligator every now and then. They are usually on the small side, NOT like this one which was in Sparky and Eldo's neighborhood pond just down the street from their house two days ago.

At any rate, Sparky stopped to take some photos of these really pretty marsh plants that are experiencing a resurge in blooms right now....She was really focused on these blooming plants.....
She looked up and in the distance, saw an alligator swimming in her direction...She didn't think anything of it. They move around in the water, and float for awhile.....She could tell that this one wasn't very big, so she kept taking photos of the plants.

The alligator kept coming. He was a young one, only about 2 feet long....Sparky wasn't worried. (Yeah, but they all have teeth! says a worried E.) The alligator was going to keep coming right to the water's edge, Sparky could tell, so she backed off a bit. She decided to get her bike between her and the gator, just in case. As she moved her bike to the left of the marsh plants, a few feet from the water's edge, the gator swung the same way. She moved to the right, the gator swung back. He was definitely not afraid of her, and definitely watching her movements. Normally, the little ones, if they are near the water's edge and a human comes within eyesight, they scuttle back into the water with a splash. Not this one! Even his eyes look very different from the normal lazy eyed gators we have seen.
Sparky decided this might be an aggressive little gator, AND possibly a hungry one. So she backed off even more and took her bike back to the sidewalk, watching behind her all the way, making sure the bike was between the pond and the sidewalk. The gator glided into the marsh, right up next to the flowering plant Sparky had been taking photos of.
Sparky decided it was time to get back on the bike and back on her ride, while she still could! :-)
BUT---curiosity tempted her to turn back and take one last look at the gator to see if he was still in position. This time, she used her zoom on her camera from a different angle. He was hidden at the VERY edge of the pond, close to the sidewalk. If anybody had decided to take a walk around the marsh to admire the plants....(AHEM! COUGH COUGH!) that gator could have easily surprised the heck out of them and perhaps taken a bite, giving new meaning to the words "ankle biter".
Sparky is learning about the habits and movements of gators, that's for sure! One more note about gator encounters....

Eldy was golfing with his buddies last week, and they observed a 8-10 foot gator laying with his head practically in the water, tail side out. Two buzzards were working on a meal on the ground behind and to the side of the gator, and all of a sudden that alligator whipped around so fast, facing the birds, the guys thought the gator was after the birds. Nothing happened but the startled birds were hesitant to keep going after the meal on the ground after that. The guys said you wouldn't believe how fast that gator turned himself, it was a blur. Another golfing day, and somebody lost a ball in the woods. They were going to go after the ball when all of a sudden, a little alligator came dashing out of the woods making a beeline for the water on the other side. The fellas were VERY leery after that about going into the woods to look for lost balls. You don't expect to find a gator in the woods! But he was probably making his way across the greens, into a patch of woods directly in his line of sight of water, and so, no worries, guys...probably won't encounter a gator again in the woods. Now, the golf course? That's another story for another day.....


  1. Boy I'm surprised that a little gator might be aggressive with a person. We're really big to them. Maybe he wanted that flower. Did you notice if for whatever reason he ate it?

  2. He wasn't the slightest bit interested in the flower. It was about 5 feet high.