They Aren’t Kidding When They Say Wildlife Is the Way of Life in Florida
My recent trip to Florida was fabulous as always. It was also, once again, proof that you need to be aware of your surroundings.
My heart still hurts over the loss of that little boy at Disney, and for the pain that will remain always with his family. But Florida Wildlife Officials aren't kidding when they tell you to be aware of your surroundings. Perhaps Disney officials should have said beware of alligators, but they certainly posted no swimming signs.
These are my photos of a golf course we play at all the time near our place in Venice, Florida.The gator taking a rest in the shade was about 8 feet long. I was teeing off about 15 feet away. Alligators on golf courses are no surprise in Florida, and they truly have no interest in us. But if I had sliced my ball near him, you can be damn sure I would have left it there and would take a stroke.
Moving on to the 8th hole, this one was taking a dip, and the birds were calmly having a nibble on the edge of the pond he was in. He didn't bother them and they ignored him. Again, if I had shanked a ball into the water, I wasn't getting my ball retriever out. Hell I wouldn't even take a drop at the edge of the water, just to be careful.
Overall, I saw five different alligators in varying sizes that day on the course. I can't think of any course that we've played in Florida that had water, that didn't also have a gator population.
It's not just the golf courses. My neighbors had one walk across their car port, and this beauty was in the storm drain near my place. I captured the photo as I walked to the pool. Yeah, I had to put my nose to the pavement, but he didn't have a chance in hell of getting me.
Moral of my tale is that alligators are a way of life in many parts of our country, especially Florida. It's always been like that. People need to have healthy respect for wildlife and the spaces they inhabit.