Crocodile hunting

Have a cow

Last week, we hit the Everglades National Park on our way back from Key West. No, that’s not a deformed Croc. It’s a manatee (aka sea cow) drinking fresh water that was dripping from a drainage pipe into the gulf. (Yes, I’m still working my way through video shot wrong.)

There’s a lot to do and see in the park but I had only one objective. Find a Croc. Best place was supposed to be Flamingo Marina. (There was a computer issue so we lucked into a free day in the park – normally a 25 dollar fee per carload good for 7 days)

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The 30 miles drive beyond the main gate takes you through some prime critter viewing. We moved a tiny tortoise (not sure what kind but he had a round bumpy shell) off the road, watched a pancake toirtose waddle away in a hurry when we stopped, because he was in the middle of the road, and got out of the car to investigate two hit snakes. Another car came sailing along from the opposite direction and we were glad we’d moved the tortoise.

If you go, do not forget the bug spray! I still have welts from the biting flies. Thankfully, some other Croc hunters shared their deep woods off.

 

And on your left…more water

IMG_0458We thought about taking a tour. But I’m cheap and it was something like 35 bucks. I figured we’d look from shore this trip and maybe take a tour next time if we struck out.

Turns out it was manatee breeding season and the sea cows were very excited. And everywhere. Crocs were my priority but I found myself squealing with delight every time I saw a pudgy nose poke up out of the water. We spotted a dozen, along with two dolphins. Most were by themselves, but we did see a pod of five just before they dropped back below the surface. One of the other tourists let me look through his mega lens for a closeup. It was nice but I can’t imagine carrying around a giant camera anymore. (I’m sure my husband is happy those days are long gone too. I was always looking through the lens)

Are you using both those eyes? 

Lots of Vultures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

For some reason, wandering through them on the shoreline wasn’t as creepy as seeing them hanging out in this tree. It kinda felt like they were planning something.

As we were heading back to the car, full of regret for not spilling the 35 bucks for the boat tour, I spotted a little Croc in the water next to the sea wall. Success! He was maybe 5 feet, with all of him visible as he floated in the water. Unfortunately, I scared him by jumping around shouting Croc. He sunk from sight before I could get a photo.

Stinker.

Next time, I think I’m going to bite the bullet and spend the cash on the tour. Boats cover a lot more territory than I can on foot. Plus, the folks on that boat seemed to be having fun.

Next time, I’ve got more photos and video from the new Pandora rides at Disneyworld.

Until then, Write On,

Melissa

About melissabanczak

I'm cold. Always. I'm currently on the Treasure Coast of sunny Florida and I'm still freezing. Happily, I'm driving distance to rollar coasters in the Orlando area, so that makes up for any shivers. When I'm not writing, my husband and I run half marathons. Slowly. My first novel, How to Sex Your Snake, is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and iTunes.
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