October 30, 2012

Weekend Visitor...

Usually, we get a little heads-up before company comes to visit, but Mother Nature doesn't always give advance notice.

Late last week, Handsome was out working in the yard in anticipation of the rainy weekend that never materialized. He came in the house at one point and asked me to escort him back to the pond. I could tell what to expect without him telling me. I've come to recognize "that look". I told Tag to wait in the Holidome. Look closely at the first photograph, and you'll see what we saw sunning in the tall grass.
I went back out to the pond on my own Sunday afternoon to take more photos to share with you today. The gator came down out of it sunny resting spot right toward me. It didn't seem in the least bit afraid of me. (Come to think of it, why would it?)
We were told when we first came to live in Florida that you can estimate the length of an alligator by trying to estimate the distance between it's eyes and the tip of it's nose. By that criteria, this gator is between 5 1/2' - 7' long.  That was confirmed when we saw it out of the water. It's probably the largest one we've ever had in our pond.
This one isn't too shy, either. As I stood on the shore of our pond (taking care to have a safe escape route), it headed right toward me. I was about five feet from the water's edge, and it was about five feet out into the water. 

My favorite cypress tree was right next to where I was standing, so I had to also be careful not to trip over the tree's knees. There are quite a few of them sticking up out of the ground, and working their way right down into the water. That's plenty close enough for me!
We usually give these guests a few days to move on. If they aren't gone within a week, we contact FL Fish and Wildlife to have them taken out of our pond. You know the old saying about house guests being like fish? (After a week, they both start to stink.) That's true, especially for alligators!

Florida alligators are fascinating to watch, but they're dangerous, too. Don't worry about the corgi. He's almost never allowed in the back yard - even when we are positive it's safe. He's certainly not going to run around back there with an alligator in the pond! I'll be hoping that this guy moves on in the next day or so, and we'll all rest easier.
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6 friends clicked here to leave a note for me:

April said...

Oh My Gosh !!! You have a gator in your pond!! Will it maybe move on? Where will to go? lol I would be on phone Fish and game !! lol

Lesley said...

Oh my goodness...I was expecting to see a snake or. Deer...never an alligator! Stay safe...he's a big one!

Chris said...

Oh My!! I hope he moves on soon!!

Createology said...

Now that would make some mighty fine boots and handbag. We visited some friends who lived in a newer Orlando community a few years back and I was shocked to see alligators in the yards of the homes. The ponds are one thing but in the yard where you need to walk to get to the mail or the car! NO Thank You!! Thankfully Tag is safe in the Holidome and you and Handsome know to be very careful. Move along nice alligator...

laurajane said...

Donna,you are a lot braver then I am you wouldn't have got me within a mile of that beauty.
Laura xx

Queenie Believe said...

Yikes and then again YIKES!
You are a brave gal, I fear I would be on the phone to F&G right off the bat. -lol-
Hope all is safe.
Always, Queenie

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