Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Alligator Alley

Yesterday was a beautiful, sunny day here in south Georgia, although it wasn't a sunny start for me.  Seems the little orange car of my dreams, my HHR, had a mind of it's own and would not turn off.  Yep, you heard me.  I pulled up in front of the store and put her in park but she wouldn't let me turn the key to kill the engine.  Drat.  So I spent my morning and  a good bit of this month's budget at the Chevy dealer having a new ignition switch installed.  Not that I'm happy to spend that money but I am happy to keep the girl running as she is my favorite car of all the cars I've ever owned (plus she's paid for and gets 26 mpg) and she sure is handy to pull behind Seeker. 

By noon I was back to the park and ready to take off to the swamp with fellow workcampers.  It has been at least a month since I last paddled the swamp so I was really excited.  The weather was sunny and low 80s so just great for paddling and for seeing gators.  And boy did we see them!  53 was the last of my count although I think Herman counted more.  We saw a lot of little ones (4-6 feet) and a couple of really bigs ones. 

Now before you think this is crazy (ok, maybe it is) let me tell you that these guys are pretty much tolerant of all the boats on the swamp.  We were out there as well as other kayakers and a couple of canoes and several tourist boats.  The poor gators don't get any rest from the gawkers.  If they think you're staring at them too long they just submerge or sometimes they only have their head or their tail above water.  And they are really good at hiding in plain sight.  After a while you start to think every log is a gator. 

We also saw a large group of Great Egrets on the Chesser Prairie and I got a good shot of one of the resident Sandhill Cranes.  The recent rains have helped the water levels a lot so were able to get way back into the prairies and all the water lilies were blooming.  Also saw several stands of iris on the edge of the prairie.  The season is almost over for the everwets or candle lilies.  Their foliage looks like cannas. 

We put in around 1 and got back at 5.  We didn't have to pay since we brought kayaks from the camp but we still had to log in and out at the office.  I guess if you don't log your return they go out looking for you.  I should ask next time.  I hope there's a next time.  I have only 4 weeks left here.  I'm looking foward to heading north to see family and friends but I will really miss this place and the friends I've made here. 


  1. You are a very brave woman out there in your kayak with all those gators!


  2. What a great trip for you. A whole 4 hours on the water. I managed a couple last Sunday. May the next 4 weeks be great memory makers for you. Sure hope to meet you down the road.