Life lived OUtside

The Kerby's Nursery E-Newsletter

June 3, 2021

A Congregation of Alligators

I can't remember if I wrote a newsletter about our first canoe trip with the girls. It's been a few years, but it was etched into our memories as the loudest boat ride we have ever been on. That's because Madeleine did not want to wear a life jacket. No way, no how. On that trip, we managed to paddle a little way up the river, but since we were all collectively miserable and any local wildlife made itself scarce, we abandoned our trip.

Fast forward a few years and we worked up the courage to try again. This past week seemed perfect, no chance of rain, bright and sunny, what better time to get out and enjoy some Florida nature. The trip went really well this time. Except for the alligators. Abby was not thrilled about seeing alligators up close from what she thought of as a wobbly boat.

The ranger at the park entrance assured her that he’d been on the river for years and had never been bothered by an alligator. He told her that they are more afraid of you than you are of them. I’m not sure she believed him. So, we loaded our paddling and picnic gear into the canoe and headed upriver. Right off the bat, I saw an alligator, maybe five feet long, lazily floating towards the left bank. At this point in the river (we were canoeing at Lettuce Lake Park) it is really wide, so there was plenty of room to give the gator a wide berth. Except then there was one to the right, and then another, and then wouldn’t you know it, one is gliding gracefully right down the middle of the river.

I have to say, I’m not particularly scared of wildlife, having been around it quite a bit, but all of the sudden I started panicking a little at the thought of the canoe tipping and having to help two (well three, if you include Kim) frantic girls back into the canoe with a congregation of alligators surrounding us. Fortunately, we all settled in as we made our way further down the river and everyone realized there was nothing to fear.

And the best part is that we saw all of this because everyone in the canoe was quiet. No fussing about life jackets or being hot and hungry. Just an enjoyable day out in nature. It only took us a couple of years to get there.

Happy Gardening,

The Kerby's Nursery Family

Life Lived Outside

Join the Kerby's Community