I attended an annual Association for Symbolic Logic meeting at the University of Florida in March of ‘07, and my wife Wendy and I decided to drive since Radford to Gainesville is only about 600 miles. It is a drive, though, that takes you right past the Okefenokee, and as a lifelong Pogo devotee I couldn't let the opportunity slip. It was early March, but the swamp was exquisite. We rented a canoe and headed out into the waterways. “Gosh,” I thought, “I hope we spot an alligator….”
Hey, wish granted! What a beautiful animal.
Oh, wow, another one.
And another one! Hunting turtle, seemingly. No, no! It's just Albert and Churchy la Femme!
Glorious. And check out the lilies! If you look closely, you can see the buds coming up.
If you look really closely, you can see the alligator drifting lazily towards you. Uh, let's back out into the middle again….
Nice and easy. (Nervous laughter.) That was exciting, wasn't it dear?
Yeah, he's still following us….
Oh, maybe he's after the Great Blue Heron. What a magnificent bird.
This looks exactly like an early drawing of Albert the Alligator by Walt Kelly.
Wait, gotta take a picture of that. Apparently the swamp recycles old tree stumps as planters.
We wished that we could be back when these were in full bloom.
Hoo-kay, stay away from the banks.
Seems to be keeping its distance.
Oh, they're on that side too.
And coming closer.
And closer. Wouldn't it be funny if we panicked and tipped the canoe right now? Honey?
Is it me, or do they look like they're planning something? I suddenly feel like a kid on a junior-high playground who looks around and realizes none of his friends are there.
Whew. Yeah, time for a beer.
I had just said, "Let's do this again!"
The sign wasn't howlingly funny on the way in. I now grok the old chestnut, "It isn't the wild unless there's something that can eat you." I highly recommend this experience.