Monday, February 29, 2016
What a Croc!
I'm posting every other day trying to get caught up to real time..of course I've been back more than a week and I'm itching to go again, but who knows when that time will come and who knows where I'll go. IF it were only me I would never be still but anyway, I have a few more posts to share of the places I visited and the things I saw. I always focus on Nature and some history so sorry you wont see snazzy eateries or ritzy locals as its not my kind of thing. When I travel I do my own cooking with a few exceptions. On my last full day in the Everglades I helped a fellow find the white crowned pigeon and in return he gave me a hot tip!
So the fellow told me go to Nine Mile Pond there is a 9 ft crocodile there laying right by the edge of the lake. I had stopped at 9 mile Pond on my way down on Sunday and it was a pretty pond with some coots floating on it and some canoes stacked up apparently for public use. SO I zoomed north on the Everglades Hwy back up about 7 miles or so to pond. In the lower 48 The American Crocodile lives only in South Florida! Here is a range map I clipped from the net...Florida is also the only place you can find crocs and gators together, according to the page I googled there are approximately 1,000 American crocs living in South Florida.
When I arrived I saw a small crowd and figured this is where I'd find the crock, and it was. I happened to arrive just as a group of paddlers had returned from a ranger led outing, and he gave us some facts about these guys I did not however think to video his impromptu talk about the crocodile and the differences between them and gators. He pointed out how when the mouth is closed on crocs you can still see the 4th tooth...
And they have a more narrow snout than the alligator, and can reach 20 ft and 800-1,000 lbs and live 50-70 yrs! Amazing facts and look at it...this one is 9-10 ft in length...
The front feet have 5 toes and the back 4 check out these claws!! Now those claws can help him really get a grasp on that ground and propel him forward they can swim at 20 miles per hr and are mostly secretive, more so than alligators they use the element of surprise in helping them hunt.
a short vid I did make....
SO I found out from one of the paddlers all one had to do was sign up for the 2 hr guided paddle of Nine Mile Pond...DANG wish I'd known cause I really didn't want to paddle alone its my fault for not paying attention and being such a loner...I was in the VC the day before and saw that same Ranger and if only I had asked about what ranger led programs were going on...so you live n learn maybe someone reading this will enjoy this tip, so sign up then show up at 9 mile pond at 7:45 am I can no longer paddle well with my left wrist the way it is not flexible so I felt afraid to try it alone...This was a great opt that slipped through my fingers!! This ranger loves his job..
I left Everglades Tuesday morning after checking on the Osprey nest and the skimmers once more. I had really wanted to see a 40 ft Python or an escaped Iguana but no luck on that front..
A Western Spindalis had been spotted in Markham Park, it was basically on the way so why not try to see it...so I put the co-ordinates in Wilma and off we went...got to Markham park OMG huge place. The lady in the VC told me it had been spotted near the nature trail, I went over walked the entire Nature trail and saw nothing but a couple grackles...disappointed I left they have a campground FULL without a reservation I get the feeling they don't even look to actually see if there are any open spots because I did drive around and saw many unfilled spots oh well can't fight the system these days...so Casey and I had to also skip the search for the Smooth Billed Ani reported in Loxahatchee NRW because the only option for camping took me north out of the area...we once again stayed in Phipps Co. park near Stuart, FL.
Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.