An interesting thing happened last night. There is a canal wall on my side of the water, and residents at the condos stroll the sidewalk, often with their dogs. If you walk the entire thing, end to end, it’s a mile. A good distance to stretch the legs.
Generally, I keep an eye on the canal. One never knows what one will see, and there are plenty of interesting fish in the water, including tilapia with their blue lips, catfish, bass, gar, and some striped cuties with bright, yellow-circled eyes.
I wasn’t paying much attention that evening… until I suddenly was. One of the gators was stalking me, moving at the same speed I was and gradually moving closer and closer to the wall. That was freakout #1.
I did a quick visual check to see if there was any way he could crawl out and join me on the sidewalk. Nope. Water’s low this time of year–summer rains haven’t started yet–and he’d have to leap into the air and across space to reach me.
I stopped. He stopped. He was no more than three feet away, though he was below the level of the wall. He rested in a clear spot–no greenery–and I saw the entire length of him, including legs and feet with claws. Gorgeous creature! I cursed myself for not bringing the camera.
“You’re pretty,” I said, “but I won’t feed you.”
Our eyes met, then in a flash, he turned and vanished, diving under the green stuff and surfacing across the canal. That was freakout #2. He moved so fast, he was gone in an instant. I have rarely seen anything move that quickly. It was eye-opening.
When they tell you ‘gators can really move, believe them! If he’d wanted to eat me, he probably could have. One of the residents saw him leap out of the water and grab an ibis flying overhead.
This is why you don’t feed ‘gators! You don’t want them losing fear of humans to the point where they are a danger to you.
The day before the above incident, I saw both of them in the canal. One is larger than the other, and unless they’re side by side, it’s hard to tell which is which, but I’m pretty sure it was the small one I conversed with. That would be this fine fellow.
There are lily pads on the water, and he floated up behind a patch, thinking he was hidden.
A few minutes later, he swam to the opposite shore, which is grass and trees, no wall, and waited. A friend said a duck and her babies had gone in there.
I don’t think he ate raw duckling that day, but while we were keeping an eye on that ‘gator, the larger one floated by. His eyes were nearly closed, so either the sun was bothering him or he was tired.
Also on the water that day was a tricolor heron.
And this morning I took pics of a juvenile little blue heron. They are white when born, then gradually turn completely blue as they reach maturity.
Suki thinks the new couch in the lanai is just her size, and she does look good on the orange cushions. 🙂
Have a terrific weekend! There will be a flash fic Monday; I wrote it today. See you then.