Saturday, March 17, 2018

Eat me!

The sign at the edge of the water at the Naples Botanical Gardens read, “CAUTION: Preserved wetland systems and stormwater management lakes provide habit suitable for alligators.  The feeding, harrassing or other disturbance of alligators is strictly forbidden.” 

As we wandered along the lakeside path from the Brazil gardens toward the Florida garden, Math Man wondered if the sign was really just to cover the gardens if some alligator managed to sneak in through a storm culvert.  There are no fences, it seems as if any alligator could just wander up and snack on the visitors.  So, really, alligators? Surely there'd be a fence if there really were alligators.

There is a terrace overlooking the lake, for bird watching. There is a large heron wading in the shallows on an islet across from us. It’s bucolic.  Suddenly there is a thrashing in the water, startling the heron, followed by what looks for all the world like a log gliding through the water. Except it has eyes. It sinks into the water until just the eyes are visible, gliding through the water. At last the alligator wallows onto the shore and….sits there.  The kids are agog.  So are we. 

Look carefully on the left hand side of the photo, that log on
the grass is not a log.  The heron doesn't seem bothered.

One bloodthirsty child wonders if the heron will get eaten.  Her mother murmurs under her breath, “Not quite what we came to the botanical gardens for…”  “The circle of life…” hums her father.

Two six- or seven-year old girls in flowered dresses with matching floral headgear, settle themselves on the steps, decorously tucking their dresses under their legs. They are riveted to the scene across the way.  “Eat it!” one of them eggs on the somnolent alligator.

To no avail. The alligator seemed content to nap in the sun.

Bonus:  Check out these man...or rather gnome... eating plants to crochet


  1. Reptiles of all kinds are fascinating. They can be dangerous, but mostly only if they are cornered, antagonized in some way or if you happen to be between a mama and her offspring. It isn't uncommon to see them on golf courses in Florida where the water hazards truly are hazardous. And as global temperatures rise, they will expand their territory, having recently been spotted in North Carolina.

  2. No fences! Alligators were here before us! It's amazing to me the way in which the alligators and the wading birds co-exist peacefully. . . sometimes in our backyards!