Sunday, September 20, 2009

Back to the River

A bad day on the river is better that a good day in___(fill in the blank).

As we electric motored our way up the Oklawaha, we realized that a dredging company was fishing out the submerged logs and other flora to clear the waterway about two miles upstream from us. This made the water thick and murky and the big gators jittery. Saw a couple of biggies, probably 8-footers, but they hauled butt from us with annoyed attitude upon sighting the canoe. So, we had to settle for the wee ones sunning on the log pictured below. These were babies, and I apologize for not getting closer. Mama was nearby, no doubt.

baby alligatorsFlorida Wildlife authorities have been capturing these feral monkeys over the past year but missed this crewe. These rascals are several generation descendants of the escapees from film and TV productions at Silver Springs in the 50's and 60's. Think Sea Hunt and Tarzan.

monkeysThis is the alpha male keeping a close eye on us.

silver riverFemales with infants crossed the river over our heads.

monkeys in treesForgive the shakiness of this photo, but it is a...a...snake. This is a Florida Water Snake, unfortunately often confused with cottonmouths. Their color and markings are similar but the head shape is different. This sleek-headed snake was docile and ignored us.

florida water snakeCats and monkeys, monkeys and cats - all human life is there - Henry James


Anonymous said...

Looked like it could have been Costa Rica and not Florida.
When visiting my mother last week in Ft. Lauderdale, the local news showed a 400 lb ( yikes ) boa constrictor that had gotten loose from someone's home.
It took 12 men to capture and hold it.
We are really, all for one and one for all, whether we should be or not.
What comes in containers, planes, boats and from reckless " pet " enthusiasts, is surely homogenizing our planet.

But all in all, I'd rather live among the non human critters to feel more connected to our humanity.

Jan Blawat said...

Sharon, are the monkeys actually a problem? Do they compete with local wildlife or do big gangs of them accost hikers or something? I know it's not good to release alien animals into an ecosystem, but gee, it seems like fun to see monkeys in the trees. It's like seeing wild horses out west. What's the scoop on the monkeys?

Sharon Crute said...

Bonnie: I saw that giant snake on the evening news. Preferring the soft and cuddlies, I can't fathom why someone would consider that creature a "pet". I feel sorry for the poor thing - it's just trying to be the best snake it can be.

Jan: the monkeys pose no threat to the ecosystem here in Central Florida. Because they are Rhesus monkeys, they're natural swimmers and apparently the population is kept in check somewhat by alligators. Problems arise due to boaters feeding them which can create aggressiveness. They are also know to carry hepatitis and herpes B. I have to admit, it's quite difficult to keep from handing them a snack, not that I've ever done anything like that!

Nancy Moskovitz, artist said...

Aside from the murkiness, this looks like a fabulous day on the river. Great photos. Thanks for sharing.