Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Deer & Alligators

What an amazing day!!! We went to our astronomy class which is located on a lot of acres of woods, ponds, and lakes. As we parked, Alexandra noticed some deer across the parking lot from us - 8 of them! Both bucks & does! I stopped the car and rolled down our windows and we were able to sit and watch them and take some pictures.

Next, as we got out of the car, some of the other children said they'd seen a small alligator in some water near the drain pipe. Well, although I knew there were alligators in the area, I saw what they were pointing at and really thought they were mistaken. But, a few minutes later it had moved and we could see it laying with its head in the drain! It was about 1.5 feet, which I'm told means it's about 1.5 years old. Very neat - our first alligator out in the wild!

Alexandra enjoyed her class and we spent some time with a bug neat catching bugs. One lady caught an absolutely beautiful spider and I caught... a fuzzy caterpillar.

After class, we went with 2 other ladies and their children down some of the hiking trails. First, we went out on a dock on the lake. We were looking for alligators, but we didn't see any. I did see this sign which tells you how to be alligator wise.

Next, we went down a trail that takes you around the water to an observation tower. I spotted our first alligator - another little guy about 1.5 feet long that was quite a ways out in the water sunning on a small log. It was again so amazing to see him! (You might need to click on the photo to make it bigger)

We kept on walking and saw and heard some beautiful ducks. We stopped and listened to them, but we were trying to watch out for snakes and alligators at the same time. Well, all of a sudden I looked back at the path and there, about 30 feet in front of us lying on the path, were two huge alligators! They were each about 6 foot long! And, 30 feet is as close as you are supposed to get to them. I can't believe I got so distracted looking in the water that I failed to look at the path!!! (the photo shows the 2 on the path in front of us)

Anyway, we were safe and the alligators were amazing. There was at least one more that was laying mainly in the water. They were blocking the path pretty well, so we were done with our hike.

Alexandra did NOT enjoy getting so close to these large alligators. I think she'd heard too much about the rules or watched too much Crocodile Hunter. She was ready to run all the way home. We did stay and take some pictures and we just admired these beautiful, powerful animals before turning around and heading home.

On the way back to the cars, we encountered a lot less dangerous animal... a sweet bunny. I took a picture of the girls enjoying this gentler animal. (the rabbit is in the lower, left hand corner)

It was an incredible, nature-filled day that I'll never forget.

1 comment:

Melissa Stover said...

you have some great photos here! i love the one on the spiders. well, the alligators are pretty awesome too. we are using jeannie fulbright's science and i found you through the yahoo group.

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