Friday, April 22, 2005

Snakes and Gators

We’ve experienced a spate of lovely sunny Spring days and the snakes and 'gators have begun working on their tans. I saw one of each yesterday as I drove down the short stretch of blacktop county road that runs by our home.

The 7’ gator was lying motionless among the wildflowers adjacent to the drainage swale beside the road. A week ago I noticed that the wildflowers were being smashed flat in that spot, and knew that an alligator had been using that place to haul out and sun itself. Two weeks ago along that same stretch of road, I stood, heart a-thumping, 2 feet away from a much larger one laying up against a hogwire field fence at the edge of a small meadow beside a swamp.

The snake was a young water moccasin about 2 feet long that had slithered onto the sun-warmed macadam.

Because we’ve seen so many moccasins and diamondbacks on that road, we don’t walk down it at twilight or in the darkness of night. Now we also have to consider alligators beside the road.

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