My sister and brother-in-law visited recently, and my sister really wanted to see alligators. Off to Payne’s Prairie we went. It was sunny, in the low 80’s and climbing, and breezy, so I had hopes of seeing quite a few gators.
They did not fail us. We saw more gators at one time than I’d seen before, and they were very lively, leaping and splashing after…fishes? birds? frogs? Whatever, the air was filled with the shock of sudden splashes as gators darted after their prey. We saw gators cruising in the open waters, gators lurking in thick growth, gators next to other gators, and gators far from the crowds. One got up and went for went for a walk, showing off his long legs, even if at a distance (sorry the photos are grainy–camera phone).
As the afternoon wore on, some got lazier, sprawling in the sun on the banks. One decided to air out his teeth, posing just like a cheesy postcard image for us. Another alligator crept too close to us for comfort. He started eyeing us like dinner, and we beat a hasty retreat! He turned his head to follow us, and swam lazily in our direction, but thankfully didn’t climb the bank! It was startling to realize how quickly I went from “viewer” to “prey” without moving a step, and how my reactions changed just as swiftly.
We also managed to see two wild horses, many anhingas and moorhens, blue herons, egrets, and even a green heron. And, as we left, we spied a little bat hiding beside wasp tubes. Perfect! It was as if the wildlife were putting on a show for my sister’s visit.
In writing news, I’m hoping to have good news to share with you soon. I can’t quite divulge it yet, but — fingers crossed — I will later this week or early next. Until then, stay warm!