A trip to the Florida Everglades a while back yielded some nice wildlife photos, one of which I shared last week for the weekly photo challenge theme of “close.” A shot I snapped of an alligator who had slipped to the edge of the river, ready to crawl up the bank towards the path, made a great subject for the theme. It turns out that people really like to see pictures of alligators, so I’m sharing some more today.

We walked along a paved path along the river and got some great views of lots and lots of gators: gators sulking in the grass; gators swimming; and the iconic gators floating silently along the river resembling a floating log. I took all the photos with my zoom lens, but in many cases, the gators were only 20 feet away. Despite their proximity, it felt fairly safe, as the gators made no attempts to approach the humans, and the humans (at least while I was there) wisely made no attempts to approach the gators. There were many birds, fish and other small wildlife in the river and surrounding area,  so I think the gators had plenty of food and decided they didn’t need to eat the tourists. But not so for this recent Florida tour guide, who certainly ought to have known better than to hand-feed a gator.

Gator in the grass

Floating log or sneaky gator?

Blue heron, or gator lunch?

We saw more gators hunkered down in the grass than your could shake a stick at. But best not to shake a stick at a gator, ever!

Turtle enjoying the Florida sunshine.

Fat and happy gators as far as the eye can see at this gator farm, where we took an air-boat ride.

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Plinky Prompts: Too Young to Retire

Change is hard, even when it’s what you thought you wanted.


Maryjane silenced the timer and slid the Texas sheet cake onto the rack, then reached to turn off the oven. Another hot day in Florida; no sense making it any hotter. She had been the envy of her friends when she retired to Florida. Months later though she had still not made any friends.

Maryjane slipped out the door and onto the dock. Suddenly, she felt something bump up against her. Then she saw them – a school of manatees at her feet. “Beautiful aren’t they?” Maryjane looked up to see her neighbor man standing on his dock next door.

 (The assignment: Write a 100-word essay including the words envy, manatees and Texas.)

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