Friday, July 24, 2015

Gator !

Having fished the Florida Everglades all my life, I've had many an experience with gators, mostly minor. Once, wading waist deep fishing for bass, I cast to a log which was, in fact, a sleeping gator. Since I had bass on the stringer tied to my belt loop, I headed to shore and promptly stepped into a hole.

Being only sixteen-years-old, it scared me when I went under the water but once I got to shore, I looked back only to see the gator high tailing it in the other direction. As it turned out, we both scared each other.

I've seen my fair share and I'm always amused when I take someone fishing for the first time and we see a gator. Many times I've seen one sunning on the shore and was once asked by a friend if the gator was dead.

Smiling, I slowed the boat, turned around and slowly idled towards the sleeping gator. Once I got within 15 feet, it bolted and ran for the safety of the water. Scared the crap out of my friend, though.

This is the almost 5 foot gator that my friend thought was dead. Notice that his head is raised and eyes open meaning he is aware of us. Once we got too close, he dove into the water.

During a typical bass fishing day, I'm usually pretty hot around midday and many times I've jumped into the water for a brief swim and cool off. I even swam with my kids in the water after a little encouragement.

That night, I took my flashlight and shined it on the water, pointing out to my kids the pairs of red gator eyes in the distance. It was then that they realized we had been swimming with gators that day.

Gators are nocturnal feeders and usually start hunting around dusk. During the day, they mostly rest or sun themselves and are rather lethargic. Most gators in the wild are really rather shy unless you stumble upon a female guarding her nest or a bull gator looking for a mate.

The exception to this would be people who feed gators that take up residence in local ponds or lakes. Once emboldened and knowing where to find food, they will take down anything small including ducks and even small dogs.

This is Shark Valley observation area where visitors can observe the flora and fauna of Everglades National Park. There are hundreds of gators along the road and I've seen people get way too close to the gators. Gators should be given much more space.

The News As I See It: Donald Trump wrote Lindsey Graham's cellphone number on a piece of paper and showed it to everybody. Graham said he's getting a new phone, which explains Lindsey Graham's latest campaign slogan, "New phone, who dis?"

Ohio Governor John Kasich became the 16th Republican to announce that he is running for president. During his speech he referred to Jesus Christ, which is ironic because so did Americans when they heard another Republican was running for president.

Joe Biden was spotted with a bruise on his face that was apparently caused by his dog. I guess they collided when they both went after the same tennis ball.

This is the reason that alligators should be given space. Depending on size, a gator can run from between 15 to 25 miles per hour for short distances.

This Date In History: 1847; Brigham Young and the first members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) arrived at the Great Salt Lake. 1862; Martin Van Buren, the eighth president of the United States, died in Kinderhook, New York.

1866; Tennessee became the first Confederate state to be readmitted to the Union. 1937; Charges against five black men accused of raping two white women in the Scottsboro case were dropped.

1974; The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that President Richard Nixon had to turn over White House tapes to the Watergate special prosecutor. 2002; Nine coal miners were trapped in a mine in Pennsylvania. All were rescued three days later.

Picture Of The Day: This is the reason why gators are not easy to spot in the wild. You may be able to see why I thought I was casting to a log. Note the baby gators sticking near mom for protection. Baby gators' sex is determined by the temperature of the eggs in the nest.

Printable Things I Never Told You: 1) I've never been skydiving, but once I zoomed in on Google Earth really really fast. 2) A male gynecologist is like an auto mechanic who never owned a car. 3) I look forward to paying off all my debt and finally getting back to just being broke. 4) For those waiting for me to go out of my mind, it may take longer as the exits are not clearly marked.  5) I'm about ten pounds overweight and I know it's my own fault, but you'd be amazed how much "exercise" and "extra fries" sound alike.....and that's five !

Today's Horoscope: Leo - July 24th: Love is a wonderful thing that can truly change your life for the better. The chances of this happening to you anytime before lunch are so remote so you might as well go home and eat ice cream until you get brain freeze. Remember, you can't become a pilot without a good altitude.

Birthdays: Simon Bolivar, liberator 1783, Alexandre Dumas, novelist 1802, Amelia Earhart, American aviator 1897, Bella Abzug, Congresswoman 1920, Jennifer Lopez, actress, singer 1969.

A gator suns itself in the midday sun along the L-67 river extension in the Everglades. My boat drifted into his area as I was casting for bass. I didn't notice him until he raised his head and I snapped a quick picture.

The AREA 51 Retirement Home Bar And Grill: My great-uncle once tried to commit suicide by jumping off a building. He changed my mind at the last minute, so he just flipped over and landed on his feet.

Two little kittens nearby saw what happened and one turned to the other and said, "See, that's how it's done."

A blond went the library and stepped up to the desk. She said to the desk clerk, "I would like a hamburger, french fries and a coke." The desk clerk said, "Shhh...this is a library."

The blond said, "Oh I'm sorry, I don't know what is wrong with me." Then, the blond leaned over close to the desk clerk and whispered, "I would like a hamburger, french fries and a coke."

An aerial view of Shark Valley Observation area.

The Hits Just Keep On Coming: An older couple were driving across the country. The woman was driving when she got pulled over by the highway patrol. The officer said, "Ma'am did you know you were speeding?"

The woman, hard of hearing, turns to her husband and asks, "What did he say?" The old man yells, "He says you were speeding!"

The patrolman says, "May I see your license?" The woman turns to her husband and asks again, "What did he say?" The old man yells, "He wants to see your license!" The woman gave the officer her license.

The patrolman says, "I see you are from Arkansas. I spent some time there once and went on a blind date with the ugliest woman I've ever seen." The woman turned to her husband and asked, "What did he say?" The old man yells, "He said he knows you!

Old Mrs. Lipschitz went to her gynecologist and after her examination, she told him that she was worried about her husband's health. When asked about the problem, Mrs. Lipschitz said that lately her husband had developed a penchant for eating dog food.

The doctor said, "I wouldn't worry too much about that. As long as he eats other types of food as well, the dog food won't hurt him." The doctor's answer satisfied the old woman and she returned home.

About a month later, the doctor happened to see Mrs. Lipschitz at the shopping mall. He greeted the old woman and asked about Mr. Lipschitz. She said, "Oh, he's in the hospital in intensive care but the doctors say he's going to be fine."

Horrified, the doctor said, "My word, I didn't believe that eating dog food would hurt him. I hope that he didn't have a reaction to the dog food and was poisoned."

Mrs. Lipschitz replied, "No, eating the dog food wasn't the problem. He stepped off the curb to sniff a poodle's ass and got hit by a car."

That's it for today, my little tiddlywinks. Remember, anchovies or jalapenos added to jokes upon request; your mileage may vary; no substitutions! I'm heading over to AREA 51 for happy hour.

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Have a great weekend and more on Monday.

Stay Tuned !


jack69 said...

I enjoy the fishing stories and education on gators. Being in and out of Florida the last twenty five years has been fun. I really do like the (animal) wild-life here in Florida (I'm beginning to see the other side of it in THE VILLAGES!.)

Nice shot of the Shark valley Observation area. Good lines in the Printables.... have a good weekend...

Heli gunner Tom said...

Jimmy, Why is it that after I read your current blog post I feel better, and not so depressed?? Your posts are a tonic to me ! --Tommy Schuckman

Senorita said...

I still have not seen an alligator in its natural habitat since I have moved to this swamp of a state. It really boggles my mind how people can possibly think that it's okay to get as close as they can to these creatures.