To say the hair raised up on the back of my neck was an understatement.
A lovely day, hot as it were, throngs of people took to the paths of Circle B Preserve so they could connect with nature.
Trouble was, nature was busy connecting with itself.
Making gator babies is serious business in the south. The gators have it all down pat. The males roar to let everyone know their territorial intentions.
Eventually, the females comply.
And neither likes to be disturbed.
So there was that.
The bestie and I were out for the day to walk and enjoy the great outdoors. “Take some pictures,” she said.
Treacherously hot, it was. Muggy and buggy all at once.
I love the outdoors.
So off we went towards Alligator Alley. Been there a number of times. Always was fun. But now, serves my memory, it was cold and windy, and the gators were not feeling sociable then.
A growl like roar sent chills up my spine.
Then another growl.
And another growl from a different side. Suddenly it occurred to me that I was in the middle ..
My first thought was the growls sounded like angry dogs. Or mountain lions.
“I am outta here,” I told my friend.
She looked at me and did not move. And smiled.
“Feet, don’t fail me now,” I thought. Having a desire to run like hell, I also remember that if this was not a gator and maybe a cat sort of thing, they kind of enjoy chasing, and there is no way I would outrun a cat.
Swiftly, I walked, alone, back down the path to get to the bench where we were sitting before.
Out of breath, the people sitting there asked me if I needed to sit down.
“Where is the rest of your party?” they said, having passed us as we were on our way down to Alligator Alley.
“She,” I said, pointing behind me, “is back there. She is a country girl and a deputy with the Sheriff’s Office. She can handle herself and run three times as fast as me. She is not afraid of anything.”
I, on the other hand, know that I have never heard a growl quite like that, and though the footage would have been great, was not interested in meeting said owners of growls.
About 5 minutes later, she comes down the path with another group of people, who were telling her what they saw. Their teenage daughter was out of breath and running too.
Turns out they saw a few of those gators come up out of the water onto the path.
The alligators were singing, they said.
I say all of this because … it is ok to admit your fears. Baseless or not, they are real to you. I have seen a lot in nature, even heard a panther who was two houses down from me when I lived in West Virginia.
They own the land, you know 🙂
Happy Friday, all.