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Gator Country January 15, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Humor, Life Balance, Nature, Travel & Leisure.

On a recent road trip to Miami and up Route A1A to Boca Raton, we traversed the state on the Tamiami Trail, passing through portions of the Everglades and Big Cypress National Preserve.

In other words, through the “River of Grass” and through swampy bits of  “Gator Country.”

Did we see Gators?

You betcha!

We wandered boardwalks at several rest stops and stopped to watch the gators resting.

They are pros at relaxing and recharging.

And recharging and relaxing.

Often sleeping with one eye open.

Aah . . . that’s better!


1. Jill Weatherholt - January 15, 2018

It’s always exciting to see gators in the wild…from a distance of course. Great photos, Nancy!

nrhatch - January 15, 2018

At one rest stop, we must have seen close to a hundred ~ all peacefully chillaxing and hoping to soak up some sun. The boardwalks were a nice touch ~ providing the right degree of separation between us and them.

2. Rainee - January 15, 2018

Great photos Nancy. They are like some prehistoric animal!

nrhatch - January 15, 2018

Very prehistoric ~ crocodilians have been around since the days of the dinosaur . . . although they were a bit bigger back then.

Today’s alligators reach 12-15 feet in length. The “Super Croc” measured 12 meters!

3. mybeautfulthings - January 15, 2018

Wow! I love these photos! I have never seen gators and probably never will so a special thank you for these amazing pictures. 🙂

nrhatch - January 15, 2018

Glad you enjoyed, Sally. We have seen a few gators “in the wild” since moving to Florida, but nothing like this congregation. Glad they don’t all live in my backyard. 😀

mybeautfulthings - January 15, 2018

Do any of them live in your back yard?! 🙂

nrhatch - January 15, 2018

No. We haven’t seen any in our neighborhood . . . although a small one was reported in one of the lakes a few years ago. We live closer to the saltwater of the Gulf than gators like to be.

4. L. Marie - January 15, 2018

I finally see gators! Wow. I’ve never seen them! I was in Houston over Christmas. Never saw a single one though there are some in my brother’s neck of the woods.

nrhatch - January 15, 2018

We’ve seen gators at Busch Gardens, Sarasota Jungle Gardens, the Lowry Park Zoo, guarding the 12th hole on a golf course, at a miniature golf course, in my sister’s backyard (once), but nothing on this scale before . . .

Definitely one of the highlights of the trip ~ especially the sense of peaceful harmony they conveyed. No fighting. No biting.

5. Kate Crimmins - January 15, 2018

Sounds like they enjoy sleeping as much as cats do.

nrhatch - January 15, 2018

Most of the “smaller” gators seemed to enjoy being in close proximity to one another. I got a kick out of the one using the other as a pillow!

At the first boardwalk, we only saw one ~ no buddies nearby. I’ve since read that adult males tend to be territorial and solitary.

Kate Crimmins - January 15, 2018

Were they affected by the cold spell or do they weather it easily.

nrhatch - January 15, 2018

They’re cold-blooded and get “sluggish” when temps drop.

6. Tippy Gnu - January 15, 2018

I love their napping habits. I want to be a gator in my next life!

nrhatch - January 15, 2018

And you can even have breakfast in bed! Fish, frogs, snakes, birds ~> a veritable smorgasbord.

7. Joanne Sisco - January 15, 2018

Seeing the alligators in the Everglades was the highlight of my trip to Florida last winter to visit my sister. I was endlessly fascinated to see them sunbathing on the shores.

Given the winter we are having, I’m sorely tempted to beg for another visit 😉

nrhatch - January 15, 2018

Sounds like a plan, Joanne. I’m sure she’d love to host you again. It’s going to be in the 70’s this weekend. 😀

Joanne Sisco - January 16, 2018


nrhatch - January 16, 2018

Yup. If you come for a visit . . . you can leave your ice skates up there.

8. Ally Bean - January 16, 2018

Good photos of what I believe are creepy things. No frozen iguanas on the Tamiami Trail, I suppose. 😉

nrhatch - January 16, 2018

Reptiles are creepy things ~ snakes especially. I wouldn’t have gotten as close to a congregation of snakes as we did to these gators.

We didn’t see any frozen iguanas, but I did hear they’ve been dropping from trees. Poor creepy things.

9. Tiny - January 18, 2018

The gators are very peaceful, aren’t they 🙂

nrhatch - January 18, 2018

Yes. It’s their inner “zen.” _/|\_

10. Behind the Story - January 19, 2018

Haven’t I heard that they can move fast when they want to? I’m glad these look like lazy, well fed ‘gators.

I think I heard a crocodile growl once when I was in Mexico. It was after dark, and I was walking across a little wooden pedestrian bridge. It was a low, scary sound.

nrhatch - January 19, 2018

Yes. Gators can run for short sprints, but most humans can outrun them . . . especially large gators:

“The maximum speed for a sprinting human is around 20 miles per hour, and most reasonably fit humans can exceed 10 mph for a short distance. It’s possible that some small alligators might get as high as 25 mph for a short burst, but large alligators generally can’t get above 7-8 mph.”

Hearing a crocodile growl, after dark, might cause me to break into a sprint. 😀

11. Debra - January 21, 2018

Many years ago now we made a trip to Florida and while in some portion of the Everglades, camera in hand, I approached a gator and I think I really did push the boundaries of how close someone should be while focusing more on the photo than the potential danger. I backed off when my traveling companions became a little hysterical! I am not typically very brave, so I think we can chalk it up to stupidity! LOL!

nrhatch - January 21, 2018

Haha! Bravery and stupidity are separated by a fine line. 😀

12. William D'Andrea - January 22, 2018

Do your remember “A Gatored Community” written by me and our friend Andalib, back in 2010?
Do you remember the floating community of Shelfish Shoals and the Amberjack Restaurant? Everyone there: Nick the Bartender, Loretta the Waitress, Ted MacKenzie, Andalib Marx, and all the others wish you the very best.

nrhatch - January 22, 2018

Thanks, William. I didn’t remember the whole cast of characters . . . but I do remember the book.

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