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Reptile of the month

Monday, 29 October 2012

Many of you know that I spent the last three months at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina.  While there I didn’t see one solitary alligator.  I did see and photograph lots of black bears.  Well, now I’ve moved to Okefenokee NWR, and I’m guessing I’ll be very lucky to catch a sight of a bear, but alligators will be more than abundant.

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When fellow volunteer Barb and I took that drive yesterday in the late afternoon in the electric cart, we saw a couple of alligators along the way.  This one is called ‘Mama’, and she pretty regularly can be found in the same pond/ditch area along the Swamp Island Auto Tour Route.  Because of that fact, the refuge has put up a sign about alligator safety.  I thought it was a hoot that Mama posed for us right next to the sign.

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This kind of displaying with the mouth open and the skin bagging under the jaw is usually reserved for the breeding season which is in the early spring.  Mama had a nest near by last year, but none of the young have been seen recently.  Compared to some of the alligators I’ve seen at Anahuac NWR, Mama is not that big (6-7’), but I guess she’s old enough to raise young.

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I’ve never had the opportunity to look down the throat of an alligator before!  I expected her teeth to be larger, and it seems to me that she has a slight issue with plaque. Sarcastic smile  I guess she doesn’t use a tooth brush.

Today was my first work day, and half the day was spent with orientation to this refuge.  The highlight of that was a boat tour through the swamp.  Even though the temps were chilly (in the upper 40’s), it was a wonderful experience.  I’ve gone through all of my photos from the tour, but I’ll talk about that trip tomorrow. 

The alligator will probably end up being more than just the reptile of the month for the next several months.  I think it will be a battle between alligators and turkeys as to which species I, and you, see most often. Winking smile

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

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