Wednesday, June 29, 2011

April, alligators, and airboats

Yesterday (technically the day before, but I haven't slept yet), April and I decided to be tourists in our own neighborhood. We went to Everglades Holiday Park. The last time I was there was right after surgery, so I didn't take too many photos. This time, my camera and I spent a little too much time together.

The second we got there, April and I were greeted by peacocks. It's mating season so all the males were putting on quite the show and chasing the females around.
Everglades Holiday Park peacock diptych
Everglades Holiday Park peacock square
Everglades Holiday Park peacock detail diptych
Everglades Holiday Park peacock love
Everglades Holiday Park peacock love 2

Once I finished photographing/being attacked by the peacocks, we bought our tickets and waited at the dock for our airboat to depart. Before our boat had even arrived, we saw gators.
Everglades Holiday Park gator
Everglades Holiday Park gator dock diptych
Then, there was a cute little gator who got super close to the boat. I say 'little' because he was about 4 feet long and still playful like a juvenile. He let our boat captain scratch him behind the ears.
Everglades Holiday Park gator boat
Everglades Holiday Park gator 2

The view was lovely and we got to see a bunch of gators.
Everglades Holiday Park
Everglades Holiday Park 2
Everglades Holiday Park gator diptych 2
This guy was my favorite. He followed the boats to their turtle traps and stole the turtles for his lunch.
My immediately reaction was to want to free him from the ropes. But being full doesn't mean he wouldn't still bite if he felt threatened.
Everglades Holiday Park gator diptych

When we returned to shore, we watched the gator show. I'm always impressed by how knowledgeable and passionate the staff is. The guy we had this time is an environmental studies major specializing in crododilians. Boy after my own heart.
Everglades Holiday Park gator diptych 3
Everglades Holiday Park triptych

Things got kind of touristy when people actually paid to pose on a gator. I'd never seen anyone do it before. Bonus points because the guys were all full of (false) bravado but it was a teenage girl and a grandmother who actually did it.
Everglades Holiday Park triptych 2
Then, I got April to pose with the gator bites sign and her box o' bites to be super touristy.

Can you believe this is virtually in my backyard?

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