Snaking Along Alligator River

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When Dirt Man told me he wanted to canoe Alligator River I hemmed and hawed and tried to come up with excuses. Finally, I told him I was not keen on being close to an alligator’s mouth. That is when I found out the river was named for its shape and there are no alligators. Whew, was I happy to hear that! Then I was informed there are water moccasins, rattlesnakes, and bear. I gave in any way.

I admit we did not see any snakes. Bear? As we were canoeing near the footpath, we heard a rumble, bang, bang commotion of something trampling over the wooden bridge. We looked over (about fifteen feet away) to see a huge bear, about 200 pounds, rearing up through the bramble. He was clearly ticked (actually, probably more frightened) we were infringing on his territory. My heart took a dive to my stomach as we both scrambled for our cameras. I was so nervous I just aimed…I only got the bushes, lol! We could hear him tearing through the woods, sticks breaking beneath his weight. We continued to hear the same sort of noises at different areas of the river. I had to remind myself we were indeed in a wildlife refuge…

While red-winged blackbirds serenaded from the banks, some dragonflies chose to go along for the ride...they kept the mosquitoes away!

While red-winged blackbirds serenaded from the banks, some dragonflies chose to go along for the ride…they kept the mosquitoes away!

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Purple flowers clumped about the banks with hundreds of butterflies swarming about them. They were camera shy so I had to zoom in for any shots I got.

One of the creeks we rowed got kind of narrow, and I thought a bit snakey looking!

One of the creeks we rowed got kind of narrow, and I thought a bit snakey looking!

Millweed was so thick in some areas we couldn't see the tree stumps sticking up through the water.

Millweed was so thick in some areas we couldn’t see the tree stumps sticking up through the water.

Other areas provided excellent reflection,

Other areas provided excellent reflection,

oddity,

oddity,

intrigue,

intrigue,

wonderment,

wonderment,

and beauty.

and beauty.

31 thoughts on “Snaking Along Alligator River

  1. Great photos! Must have been so peaceful. Scary though – don’t want to be so close to bears. The first dragonfly photo – the bug seems to have a face complete with mouth, nose and huge eyes. 🙂

  2. “We could hear him tearing through the woods, sticks breaking beneath his weight.”

    OMG…I was shaking just READING that!!!!

    Suzi, these photos are just BEAUTIFUL!

    The ones of the dragonflies are simply stunning! GREAT close ups! And the waterlilies….WOW!

    Have a terrific Tuesday, my friend, and thanks for sharing the beauty!

    X

  3. I LOVE your nature photos, Suzi! The dragonflies and butterflies are particularly splendid, and you ought to be congratulated for catching them up close. You were mighty brave to get that near the bear, though!

  4. I love water reflections … they make natural art.
    Snakes would have definitely hindered me from getting in the river … not the bear. If I knew I would see a bear, I would have ignored all fears of snakes, slimy water, tipping the canoe, etc…. (bet you did not guess that ;-))
    The branches in your intrigue picture are rather snake like, don’t you think?

  5. A few years ago there was a bear sighting in the woods behind the park, across the street from our house. Pat & I spent a date night ‘going on a bear hunt’, looking all over those woods for the bear. While we didn’t come across the bear, we did find signs of it.

  6. You’ve got some gorgeous pictures here. Can’t pick a favorite 🙂 That bear would’ve freaked me out! My older son may have seen one in our yard a couple months ago – they both ran away from each other panicked, so we don’t know for sure…but other neighbors have reported bear sightings. They are beautiful creatures, but I just don’t want to see a hungry one up close!

  7. Awesome photos, Suzi. I’m with you . . . not interested in kayaking or canoeing around snakes, alligators, or crocodiles. I’m amazed that you reached for your cameras when you spotted the bear. I would have been too busy gawping to think about taking a photo. 😯

    • If I hadn’t fumbled so because of shaky hands I might have gotten a shot of him rather than bushes, lol! It was funny because right before we saw the bear we brushed up against some weeds and Dirt Man just about jumped out of the canoe…the rustle spooked him. I think he was thinking about water moccasins and then a bear starts rumbling and grumbling about!

  8. Sounds like an awesome place to visit…except for the bears and snakes! But guess that’s to be expected. I absolutely LOVE the dragonfly/Wonderment shot! That is simply fantastic! Your photos really capture the beauty of the area.

    • It really was pretty from the water. Dirt Man asked if I wanted to walk the trail after we got out of the water…I asked him if he was crazy. I preferred to keep the distance between the bear and us!

  9. Oh my – each photograph as beautiful and surprising and so well captured as the next! Love your macro shots – the dragonfly and the butterfly – how difficult they can be to capture. Takes patience. Thanks for sharing a fun trip down a river that thankfully was named for its shape and not the creatures who inhabit it.

  10. You’re pretty brave, Suzi. I would have been shaking so much, I wouldn’t have thought of trying to get a shot of the bear. I’m afraid I probably wouldn’t be on the river after hearing about the snakes. Period. Then I would have missed all the beauty you captured in between moments of terror 🙂

    • We want to get with a group, too. It would be way fun. We have neighbors we’re supposed to do some day trips with…if we can coordinate our schedules!

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