17 May, 2013
Gator Story “Tail”Posted in : Appetizers on by : Julie
Earlier this week, my friend Chris was graciously (THANK YOU) mowing around my property. Having known about our pond, but not visited it in years, he decided to try mowing the underbrush near it so that he could get a better look.
When we were children, my grandparents would stock the pond with catfish and brim and allow us to feed them torn bread in the early evenings. We delighted in walking to the pond – just as the lightening bugs began to brighten the edges of the nearby woods. The summer heat would be disappearing with the setting sun over the loblolly pines, still giving us enough light to make the trek to the spring-fed pond. I remember standing on the end of the dock, tearing up pieces of stale Merita sandwich bread and tossing the tiny bits into the clear water. As the bread just began to get soggy, all sorts and sizes of fish would surface and feed. We always kept our eyes out for the biggest catfish that mainly stayed on the pond’s bottom until each evening feeding. I always thought their long whiskers made them look like something out of Dr. Seuss!
Unfortunately, after my grandparents passed away, I let the pond’s edges grow up. Work, family responsibility and life took precedence over maintaining the pond, now grown thick with weeds and trees from years of neglect. And this is where the story takes an interesting turn…
Back to Chris. He is mowing, enjoying little peeks of the water through the bushes as he is steadily making progress to the pond’s edge. All of the sudden he noticed two eyes staring back at him. Yup, that’s right – we have a GATOR in our pond! That isn’t something he (or ME) expected! He appears to be about 4 or 5 feet in length, just enjoying the pond as his own personal alligator paradise. Not surprising, since our property backs up to “Alligator” Creek and we have had some really dry weather. But still, this fella had to come through many acres of woods to bust up into OUR pond!
Many suggestions from gator teeth necklaces to alligator tail appetizers have circled around dinner table discussions, not to mention a cousin that wants to wrestle it and have it photographed and made into his Facebook profile photo! For now, he is quietly enjoying his gator oasis. Something tells me that the Fish and Game guys will be making a visit to our land soon to rescue this critter and let him loose (hopefully, not in our creek) back into the wild.
Price you pay for living in Florida!