I’ve had to work the last two days, and yesterday was cold, drizzly and dreary. I was excited though, because I got out of the VC and worked at the Chesser Homestead. Considering the miserable day, I was very surprised to have 84 visitors to the cabin.
That’s a pretty big number for a weekday even considering lots of schools have spring break here. I know if I wasn’t working, I would have been hunkered down inside the rig with the furnace going. But any day out and about is good, and the new water lily blooms weren’t effected by the weather at all.
The other bonus to this day was my first ever sighting of a Florida soft-shelled turtle. It wasn’t doing much, but it was probably warmer in the water than it was on land. I think they’re rather odd looking turtles.
Today dawned bright and sunny, and I headed in to work the VC for the morning. Of course, Flat Joey came with me. With the help of intern, Kathy, we came up with this photo of FJ with an alligator. Not to worry, this guy isn’t alive any more, but by putting him outside next to the Suwannee Canal, he was in perfect habitat. Interesting part of this little adventure, was that as we carried FJ and the stuffed gator out the back door, a live male alligator in the canal took note, and came swimming towards us to check things out! 25 feet is the suggested safe distance from a live alligator, so I took my picture fast, and we headed back indoors.
It is always amazing to me how close visitors try to get to the live wild alligators on the refuge. Kind of reminds me of visitors to Yellowstone approaching the bison on foot. We had a family from Russia today where the grandmother kept pulling her little granddaughter closer and closer to a gator on the Swamp Island Drive, and wouldn’t heed our warnings about the speed that these creatures have. They spoke English, so it wasn’t a language barrier. Why would anyone take such a chance with the lives of their loved ones? Dumb, really dumb!
While on roving this afternoon, FJ and I made a visit to the rocker on the front porch of the Chesser Homestead. As you can tell, the weather was much more pleasant than yesterday.
On the way back to help close the VC for the day, a great blue heron posed for me while it fished a small wetland. Tomorrow afternoon, my sister Pam and husband Stan will arrive for a short visit. Long time readers may remember that we try to get together a time or two each year to share some camping time. I’m hoping to be able to arrange a boating adventure for us on the refuge sometime next week. We may be doing some canoe trail maintenance. Seems if you visit me for more than an hour or two, I’ll put you to work for the refuge!
Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later, Judy