Not every single post I write has to do with travel, but oddly, I think I have a travel twist to this interesting post.
I’m getting ready to head to Thailand again and leave home on Wednesday. So I’m trying to wrap up my home renovations this weekend. I was outside behind my condo painting some trim that will get installed with the hardwood floors when I heard my neighbor whispering to me from her balcony.
I really couldn’t hear her well, so I said loudly, “I can’t hear you.” She spoke slightly louder the second time and said “Shhhhhhhh…I don’t want to alarm you, but there’s an alligator behind you. Its head is not facing you, so you should stand up quietly and walk towards the condo, NOW!”
I got up slowly and glanced behind me. I saw a gator tail and just walked very quickly and quietly towards the edge of my building. Safely at the building, I turned and got a good look at the gator that had been about 3 feet behind me while I was painting trim. I have no idea if he was there when I sat down, I don’t know if he appeared while I was paining. But there he was.
I live on an island, and directly on a marsh. I see gators on the island around the ponds all the time. In fact, there are two resident gators that live in pond at my office. I have never, ever seen a gator on my marsh bank, ever. We called the Wildlife division from our county and by the time they made it out, he was long gone.
For the second day in a row my friend the gator was out sunning himself. Grateful that my encounter ended well with him the previous day, I decided to give him a name. I called him Lucky since I was lucky to walk away unharmed after having been about 3 feet from his tail.
I called the Wildlife division again and they had an after hours and weekend number to call for nuisance alligators. Two guys showed up about 30 minutes later. They were authentic South Carolinian’s and looked the part too. Jimbo and Bubba were their names and they catch gators and other wildlife on the weekends – I did not want to ask what they did during the week! I took some photos but they did not want to appear in my blog. (I was able to get a photo of their truck and got my neighbor who was panicked that if it put it on the web someone might be able to identify where we lived and the gator catchers to agree I could use it if I made sure nothing could identify them and the license plate was blacked out on the truck. (So here’s what you end up with when you try to use a photo w/out any buildings, identifiable features, blacked out license plate, etc…) Even with all the cropping and black boxes, I think this photo says it all.
I showed the guys the general area where the gator was, and they saw him. However, just as they approached Lucky, he slithered into the marsh again! I guess Lucky’s going to be around for a while longer.
I have a few more days to watch out for Lucky – from the safety of my condo. In the meantime, now I have a pet who won’t die if I leave him alone for 3 months while I’m overseas. People always ask me if I have pets of any kind since I travel so much and for such long periods of time. Obviously the answer is no, not even goldfish can survive being alone 3 months. Now I can tell people about Lucky the gator!