Today we decided to explore a park close to where we live called Eagle Lake Park. Dan had never seen an alligator in the wild so this was our main goal. Also, just to check out this park and see what it was like! Before we found the main lake, we found a smaller pond or body of water full of lily pads. It had many, many red eared sliders. Also frogs and fish! Dan spotted the best thing: a HUGE Florida Snapping Turtle swimming right under the wooden bridge we were standing on. I think his shell alone was a foot and a half long. I didn't get a pic of him, but that's kind of what he looked like.
When we found the bigger lake, we walked around the perimeter and saw even more turtles- more red eared sliders, a bigger turltle with a beautiful shell, and other small turtles with really black shells. I thought I made a huge discovery when I saw a big Florida Softshell Turtle swimming by... but it turned out the lake was full of them! They were swimming all over, and it was so cute to see all the species swimming around and interacting. I can't count how many of the softshell turtles I saw. I've definitely never seen that many together before; I don't even know if I've seen one in the wild! (Not my pics, but you get the idea!)
Can we take a sec to appreciate the face of a softshell turtle? It is so great! Look at that little nose! Those weird little eyes! I should make a turtle painting haha. They are just too cool!
Anyway, we looked all around the lake, and were starting to get pretty hot so we were going to leave. Then Dan spotted it. The alligator!! He was laying on the side of the lake, in the grass, kind of just sprawled. Not elegant at all. I actually do have pictures of the alligator, but if you can find him yourself, I'll give you a prize. I took them and it took me forever to even see him!
I'm really glad that we went on this walk, and that we got to see the alligator. I have very mixed feelings towards them. I know I use them in my work a lot; probably for this reason. I have nightmares about them all the time- that I'm swimming and all of a sudden I'm swimming in a stream just full of them, they're right under my belly and they're going to eat me. I guess it's a little empowering to make an alligator painting! Putting an alligator in a cute dress or a fancy suit makes it a lot less scary to me. There's a good chance I'm not going to get eaten by an alligator, but you just never know.
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