The Everglades has a wonderful park called Shark Valley.
I want to go back to that day.
The hot sun on my neck, the breeze blowing over the swamp..
and my prehistoric neighbors soaking in the day, not a care in the world.
Nap time in the everglades = great, up close shots of large reptiles.
As I am face to face with their jagged sunny smiles, I can hear my mother screeching of disapproval in my head.
"You're too close!!" she says.
Good thing she is in California I think to myself as I inch closer.
They're on land and nesting season is over.
As I approach a gator, he opens one eye slowly.
But he can't he bothered enough to move, and I take a picture.
I'm tempted to touch him, but I don't want to disrespect his space.
I am fascinated by them.
I remember one April while kayaking the Silver River,
I saw some of the largest gators I have ever seen in the wild.
Swimming under our Kayaks, resting on the shore, croaking in the reeds.
I get close; only 4 feet of open water separates me from becoming dinner.
R yells across the river, "Ryan! What the hell are you doing?"
I laugh and wonder the same thing.
I'm on his turf and we're approaching nesting season.
Probably not one of the smartest things I've done.
But the fascination gets the best of me, and I stop for a while examining his grey skin.
He's longer than my Kayak, he's got to be 12 feet.
Alligators; reason 2,051 why I love my home state Florida.