Thursday, June 11, 2009

Vacation Day Five: Gators!

We all got off to kind of a late start again yesterday morning, but isn't that what vacation is for? Getting up late and lazing around reading and then finally deciding to leave the house? I'm going to say yes, since that's what we did. When we finally did all get up and showered and stuff, we decided to go for a walk down to Starbucks since it was a beautiful day and the first one without rain:

main street, jupiter

The walk was going well, the visit to Starbucks was going well (except for the girl who inexplicably tried to convince the Starbucks clerk that Lorraine was an exotic Polish name that a lot of people had trouble with; that wasn't really a problem so much as a "Wait? What? Is she serious? That's the mom from 'Back to the Future'. How could anyone have trouble with that?" moment), and then it happened: baby rage.

baby rage

I know from hanging out with Jeannie and family that this can happen at any time, any place that there is a baby. Everyone can be minding their own business, perfectly quiet and content, and then there are screams! Piercing wails and shrieking cries like nails scraping on the chalkboard of your brain! Baby rage has struck without rhyme or reason, and often there is no cure.

In this case, Etta was trying to drink out of the smoothie cup, but kept tilting it wrong so that the end of the straw wasn't actually in the smoothie. D kept trying to help her, but she didn't want help, and then she flung the smoothie aside like JLo tossing away a warm Diet Coke. Fortunately most of the smoothie was already gone by that point, so the spill was rather small, but still... baby rage. Someone should have a telethon or something to fight that.

Once we apologetically whisked the baby out of Starbucks, we decided to walk over to the grocery store so that Nastjia could get some post cards. On the way we saw some birds:

black bird

a molested local statue:

lipstick dragon

(maybe it looks cuter when the kisser is drunk; I know I've had that trouble with guys before) and some mushrooms that were huge, like Smurf house huge. We asked D to get in the picture by them to give it a sense of scale:

gigantic mushrooms

What the hell is dead under there that lets the fungus get so big?

Anyway, our walk ended up taking us most of the way into the afternoon, so we ended up laying around reading and watching TV until dinnertime, which was at the Cheesecake Factory. I had some pasta which was good but came in a red sauce not clearly described on the menu, and then the Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake for dessert:

godiva cheesecake

That's a lot of chocolate, and I probably could have just had that for dinner by itself and still been full. After dinner we caravanned out to the Everglades to see the alligators, which become more active after sunset:

everglades sunset

There are four alligators in that picture. Seriously. For such large animals, they're pretty good at hiding, which is probably why the observation point had so many warning signs:

warning sign

That warning sign is a little confusing to me, as it makes it sound like, "Oh, hey, by the way, it's against the law to poke the alligators. Don't do that, or you might get in trouble." If I wrote it, the tone would be a little more serious, like, "ALLIGATORS WILL BITE YOUR HANDS AND FEET OFF! BACK THE F--- UP AND STAY ON THE DOCK!", but that's probably just me. Anyone stupid enough to drive out to the swamp under the cover of darkness, miles from the nearest hospital, to provoke a carnivorous animal the same size as they are probably isn't going to benefit from a warning sign, anyway, no matter how well it's written. There is no warning sign that can cure stupidity.

Aside from the alligators, we also saw some other wildlife:

spider

but mostly we were just waiting for the sun to finish setting:

reflected clouds

so that the alligators would start hunting and become more active, and once it got darker they were happy to oblige. As we watched, a big one swam toward the dock:

alligator swimming

and then ended up pretty much right at our feet below the railing:

big gator

It was getting too dark at that point to get any good pictures, even with the flash:

alligator redeye

and we were all kind of tired, so we decided to pack it in for the night and head home.

The new season of "Top Chef" was starting, after all, and we can't miss that even for the joy of nature.

1 comment:

JMBower said...

We don't need to put up warning signs here in the South(tm) because there is a general understanding that "nature wants to kill you." However it can, ideally with more than one vector at a time. This is not the pastoral haven of northern NY. Here, nature is red of tooth and claw. Between venemous snakes, fire ants, fist sized spiders, and gators, nature is not something normal people here "experience". Rather they "watch it fearfully from their car windows".

The South(tm): "Don't Go Outside".

The bird looks to be a juvenile Little Blue Heron just growing out of its white plumage.