Polka Dots and Pineapple: Life of Family P

Blessed to be a blessing...

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Nature's Call

This weekend has made me wonder if I missed my calling in life.  Perhaps I should have been a marine biologist or a zoo keeper or Steve Irwin's (R.I.P. Steve) apprentice.  After all, I do recall having young girl dreams of working with Shamu at Seaworld.  I always hated science, yet there is something about animals that I find intriguing....I am definitely a nature girl!  That is exactly why I have dedicated this weekend to take time and enjoy the nature around me...animals in their natural habitats just doing their thing.  Like another world!

Let's start with yesterday's trip to the beach.  We headed out just to relax in the sand for a few hours.  The beach is only about a 15 minute drive from our condo, so it's an easy outing.  We loaded our chairs and iced down some bottled water.  We were sitting and relaxing when Josh pointed out that dolphins were swimming straight out from us.  They played around for a long time and I was mesmerized the entire time.  There were several of them scattered out where we could see.

Side note:  Once in high school on a family vacation in the Bahamas, my parents splurged for us to do the swimming with dolphins excursion.  That remains one of my favorite memories and I would love to do it again someday!

Here's one of the pics I captured of these sweet dolphins swimming:

Then we were driving out again yesterday afternoon when I saw an adult alligator in the pond behind our condo!  I didn't have my camera at the time, but I went back later that evening looking to see her again.  Unfortunately, I did not spot the adult gator but I did see a few of her babes.  It was dusk and hard to see, plus I was being ATTACKED by mosquitoes, so I decided to call it a night on the alligator adventure.  Except that I didn't completely quit.....I came back to the condo and spent no less than 4 hours online researching all things alligator!  I learned lots of new things about them.....plus my fear of them has only increased because I learned how fast they can move and how vicious they can be when attacking prey!  Yikes!  Add to that, several reports have been in our area of dogs who jump in the water and are killed by the gators.  (this breaks my heart!)  Here's my PSA for that:
People, Keep Your Dogs on Leashes!
(at least around these fresh water areas where gators reside)

Obviously, I love animals!  And I especially love dogs and know that most canines adore swimming!  I don't want to take that right from them, however it's just not worth the risk in the gator areas.  Apparently the gators are not a fan of the salt water though, which is reassuring for those ocean and river swims! :)

Sorry to get off on that tangent, but it upsets me to think about this happening when it can be avoided!  Now, where was I?  Let's move on to introducing you to our new neighbors!

The Gator Family

This is actually a baby gator!  That mama stays hidden below water whenever I have my camera on me (bless her heart, she must be camera shy!), so I have not been able to get her picture yet.  Her babies do love swimming!

Hanging Out!

Don't they just look so cuddly?! 



I have to show this precious picture of the Turtle family!  How stinkin cute are they?!!  However, I do fear for them.....after all, I learned that they are part of an adult alligator's dinner choices.
Word has it that Mama Gator likes to hang out near this tunnel.  I looked and didn't see her, but that doesn't mean she wasn't hiding below the water.  You might wonder how I heard about where Mama Gator likes to hang out?!.....Well, let me introduce you to a cute 8 year-old who also happens to be our neighbor!   

I don't know his name, but I know he is a precious little child!  He was wearing elastic-band jeans and a T-rex t-shirt.....all while munching on his PB&J sandwich!  Child after my own heart!  :)  I had already roped Mr. P into stopping by the gator pond on our way back from church....I had my camera, so I was ready!  We had only been there for a minute when this little man showed up to give us the scoop on the gators.  He told us all kinds of things (that we took in, but we're not sure if we should believe), such as:
* There were 13 babies but the crane ate 4, so now there are only 9
* The daddy gator used to live here too and he was so nice!  He would let you get close and take his picture!  (Ummm.....ok, little buddy!)
* The daddy gator was shot for some reason so he doesn't live here anymore (I'm not one to jump to conclusions, but it might have to do with someone else telling us that is likely because IT ATE A HUSKY DOG!.....I didn't tell the little boy about that because who am I to argue?!  I'm just not a dream crusher.)

Did I mention getting attacked by mosquitoes while on my first gator excursion last night?!  Seriously, this is just a small portion of the back of one of my legs!  My dear husband mentioned West Nile Virus.....thanks babe, that will help me sleep soundly!  ;)  Who am I to kid, I am already running from gators during my dreams all night! :)

Come visit and see our natural surroundings and its creatures!  But you might want to bring some bug repellent! :)

With Love from Charleston! 

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