Daily Archives: June 24, 2021

Creature Feature

The variety of wildlife that inhabits the swamp on the Saint Johns River here in DeBary, Florida, is outrageous. There are ospreys and wading birds like the great blue herons fish the still, barely moving waters of the Saint Johns. Owls hoot away in the night. Bullfrogs croak after the sunsets. My neighbor Capt’n Natural Lee scatters corn around his yard and the wild hen and tom turkeys come to feast along with squirrels and racoons. Manatees mosey serenely along the canal from time to time. Mosquitoes thrive here.

But there are bigger, more sinister things lurking in the depths and shadows. There are two of these signs on the routes I travel here in DeBary and vicinity…

About a month ago my neighbor snapped this pic of a beast not 20 feet from my boat. Thankfully I didn’t see it…

Then there are the ubiquitous alligators swimming close by.

The bottom of the picture is the side of my boat so you can see how close we were in this staring contest.

Turtles climb up on the remnants of a nearby fallen tree to soak in the sun.

The other day as I was headed to the nearest paved road, three miles away from my boat, I cam across this guy. Gal? It’s a Florida softshell turtle. About 20 inches long. They come out of the water to bask and lay eggs. This one was just hanging out in the sunshine. Love its snorkel nose.

And from time to time my neighbor’s dogs come by to see that I’m all right. Polly is the black pittie and Sarah is the Jack Russell mix. Good company.

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