Alligator“The Everglades was the only place on earth where alligators (broad snout, fresh water, darker skin) and crocodiles (pointy snout, salt water, toothy grin) lived side by side. It was the only home of the Everglades mink, Okeechobee gourd, and Big Cypress fox squirrel. It had carnivorous plants, amphibious birds, oysters that grew on trees, cacti that grew in water, lizards that changed colors, and fish that changed genders. It had 1,100 species of trees and plants, 350 birds, and 52 varieties of porcelain-smooth, candy-striped tree snails. It had bottlenose dolphins, marsh rabbits, ghost orchids, moray eels, bald eagles, and countless other species that didn’t seem to belong on the same  continent, much less in the same ecosystem.”

~Michael Grunwald, The Swamp: The Everglades, Florida, and the Politics of Paradise    

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Comments
  1. bdh63 says:

    Wonderful paragraph! Marvelous details!

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    • hakesplace says:

      It is–and wonderful and marvelous, to me, also describes this very unique ecosystem! 🙂

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      • bdh63 says:

        There’s something fascinating about danger — knowing you might go in and not come back out. It gives me a thrill!

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        • hakesplace says:

          Funny, that’s the way I feel each time I enter my car and drive the two-lane highway. Today, I was caught in a torrential downpour and could not see–frightening! After that, the alligator seemed so less dangerous. Illusion, for sure. 😀

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          • bdh63 says:

            Certainly, here in Boston, the two-lane highway is more likely to get me than a gator. Although, people do illegally adopt them as pets and then release them when they grow up a little and are no longer cute. Every once in a while, I see an article about a 4-foot gator found nearby. Gives me shivers. How delicious. 🙂

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            • hakesplace says:

              The Everglades was 15 minutes from where I lived. Gators are found in people’s yards, canals, lakes–it is quite dangerous. I respect these beautiful beings. There was a fence in between us when I took this picture. Although she/he looks quite passive and peaceful, I would not dare get close to it. Either they see me as food or danger. Either way, I would be a snack. You know, if one starts chasing me, I was told, it is best to run in a zigzag. A gator can dash up to 30 miles in a straight-line but only for a little bit. Then they give up. I’m not very quick, so…respect! 😉

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