Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wait a minute...

What's that in the background?

So, I'm just clicking away, taking family snapshots which are a different animal altogether from photographs although sometimes a family snapshot does rise to the level of a photography.  But sometimes, I just set the camear on automatic and use it as a point and shoot camera although it is a bit heavier. 

So the grandkids and Karen are in the backyard, hanging out.  I'm not paying attention to exposure or the rule of thirds or the background or much of anything.  Just a summer day.   Oh yes...the background.

It appears that we weren't the only ones enjoying the warm sun.

Do you see him across the little pond in someone's back yard?

When I pointed him out, Noah wasn't particularly interested one way or the other but Conner was really excited.  One of his favorite things is to feed bread to the fish and turtles.  So he went as close to the water as we let him -- which is two feet from the bank -- and started calling across the water.

"Aaa Gat Aaa!   Aaa Gat Aaa!"

Which was a perfect time for one of those lessons which adults give children and children usually accept 33% of them (another version of the Rule of Thirds) until they become teenagers and then they accept nothing that comes from adults unless it is money.

So I'm trying to get the point across that alligators are not like fish or turtles.  I don't want to create a phobia, but I do want him to know the difference.  He seems to get the point when I explain that alligators don't eat bread, they eat fish and turtles.  Conner gives me a big frown at that one. 

I explain that when we see them from a large distance, it is all right to look and take pictures, but if they start coming across the water or if they are on this side of the pond, we need to go inside immediately.  

Right on cue, as if he (or she) was my teaching assistant, the gator got up and went down to the water and slipped in and swam toward us.

Actually he (or she) only swam out to the middle and floated there as the periodic alligators that inhabit these manmade ponds tend to do.   He or she presented no real danger but it was a good time to get the message of safety across, so we all went inside immediately where Conner ran around baring his teeth, pretending to be an alligator, and biting his matchbox cars. 

I'm not telling the grandchildren this, but I have never considered these gators (most of whom are relatively small -- under five feet) to be particularly dangerous if you don't mess with them.  Repairing the intake valve to our irrigation system, I have swum in the pond (or stood chest deep in the muck) within 25 feet of one of these guys without worrying.  Although Karen worried a bit for me and kept telling me to get out. 

Here's looking at you, kid.


  1. You may need to click on the first picture to see the gator on the far lawn a little to the right of Noah's head

  2. These guys have very tiny brains, can run very fast for short distances, and have been know to eat small dogs and cats. I give them lots of room!

  3. Hmmm... I doubt I'd have felt particularly at ease, chest-deep in mud, 25 feet away from a gator. But I do think they are impressive animals, and beautiful - and certainly have proved to be a success model of evolution, having been around for waaaaaay longer than any mammal.
    How polite of this one to have acted as your assistant teacher!

  4. I am thinking that if I lived there I wouldn't leave my house. In the water with them? No way!!!

  5. While playing golf in the Myrtle Beach area, my shot dropped within 3 feet of a 'gator's nose. I got a free drop.

  6. Oops I would be inside for sure. I cannot stand the little lizards that we occasionally see even around here.

  7. I'm with Karen on this one. I would have been telling my husband to get out too. You know how we wives are - always nagging.

    The last photo of the gator is awesome.