Little and Big Groovy Girls Go……Gator Going

Little did we know that when Tana and I first got onto the island, changed into our suits, grabbed our towels and went to walk to the Ocean…….we were walking in completely the wrong direction.

It doesn’t really surprise me.  At the time we were following what we thought was the upstream to a little marsh we found.  How naive we were to think this tiny little pool is what the all of the ocean would empty into…..our world was to become so much larger, so much brighter, so much wetter, so very soon….but just not now soon  Until our soon would come, we would walk.  We walked hand in hand until Tana decided to skip because she was just so excited.  Neither of us had ever seen or played in the spray of the Atlantic and it was going to be a week by the ocean that both of us have been so eagerly awaiting.

However, our Ocean was not in the direction we were traveling quite yet.  Instead, we were stopped in mid-skip by what was sure to be some sort of dinosaur sunning itself in the last of the Easter Sunday light, on the bank of the little waterway (and for those of you that know, it clearly wasn’t going to dump into the ocean because alligators, for the most part, stay in fresh water……just sayin’……damn  details.)

The first of many gators to come.

This is the first gator that we came upon on our first night on the island.  This was a sign of many more gators to come across, all while we were running,  biking, and touring.

This is the first gator that we came upon on our first night on the island. This was a sign of many more gators to come across, all while we were running, biking, and touring.

As we continued into the nature preserve; clearly not getting to the ocean, we came across a small back woods sign that advertised a boat touring for gators on the lakes.  As we looked up to look at each other, both of course thinking this was something to put on our agenda, we saw another little gator swimming out in the water.  Clearly, we were in the right place for gator watching and we made the appointment.

The canapoy covered boat was exactly what I had pictured our tour guide was going to pull up in and when he had an accent….well let’s just say, I wasn’t disappointed, nor would I be with what we were soon going to come across.

gators, Gators, GATORS.

As I got out my camera, my eyes caught glimpse of some scales up against the bank.  I pointed quietly and whispered, “over there.”  That was all the guide needed.

He turned the boat and we quietly came in on what we were to find was going to be mama and her baby on her back, hanging out for the afternoon.  Let me just say, I was happy to have a zoom.  But, came to quickly find out that our guide wasn’t going to make me use it.  We krept right in on her.  Right up until she hissed and the little one slid down and swam away to what I can only imagine was back to the nest.

This is the first Alligator we came across with her baby on her back.

This is the first Alligator we came across with her baby on her back.

The mama hissed again and we got as good a look as I’ll ever need of her pearly whites.  Montana’s eyes were popping out of her head, looking a bit allgator-ish in her own way, with excitement and she got right there at the edge of the boat (with the guide holding on to her) just taking it all in.  Nature, raw, glaring, calm, but pissed so then we took off.

I wondered what could top a moma and her baby?  Our tour could end now and I think we all would have been satisfied.  It’s hard to compare best stories of the tour, but the story that takes the day is the next alligator we saw, that was curled up on the sand, peacefully enjoying the final hours of sunlight.  Until that is when we glided up into it’s area.  The alligator isn’t interested in showing us it’s patience and so it takes a few steps to get into the water, we are all excited to see the gator, in all it’s strength, and grace slide into the water and hoping to catch it swim away.  The gator goes deeper than we expect and possibly even surprises itself because as it plans to come up we can only assume that it hits the top of our boat where it was planning to surface, gets itself all worked up, smacks the underside of the boat and the splashes the whole of the boat in a little fit, making sure to know we should mind our step.

Montana is beside herself with fun, giggling at myself and the other lady on the boat who have screamed, fallen over ourselves, flipped cushions, and found ourselves on the floor, now looking up and with no shame laughing at ourselves.  Montana and the husband high five each other and continue with their giggles.  The boat is alive with life, appreciation of nature and her power, our own curiosity, and our own awe of just how much out there, there is in the world to explore.

Montana got right up on the edge of the boat to get the best view of the Mama and her baby.

Montana got right up on the edge of the boat to get the best view of the Mama and her baby.

Really, I don’t know how you could have ended an outing in any better way.  The take away is that really, nature is beyond words beautiful, nature is unpredictable and nature deserves respect for it’s power and desire to live without too much interference.  And nature seems to have a good sense of humor liking a good water fight as much as the next!

Groovy Girls Go……Off the Boat Wet from the Gator

This is the first Alligator we came across with her baby on her back.

This is the first Alligator we came across with her baby on her back.

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