Floridian Wildlife 3

Gainesville is a relatively bike-friendly city. James and I travel by bike whenever we need to get somewhere that is sort of far away/not on a bus route. Being nature enthusiasts, our rides generally take a few minutes longer than what we originally anticipated because we almost always make a handful of pit stops to gaze at the wildlife, from tiny anoles, to swooping hawks, to baby alligators hanging out in small ponds.

A couple of months back, we made a 45 minute ride to the North part of Payne’s Prairie, a wildlife reserve brimming with alligators, bison, fishing birds, and more alligators. Unfortunately the destination trail, the La Chua trail, was partially closed off, as the riverbank had spilled over parts of the walking trail and alligators were just casually hanging out in the area where there would’ve been heavy foot traffic. We were disappointed, but sort of secretly pleased that our feet were saved from alligator bites?

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Sleepy alligators, La Chua Trail, Payne’s Prairie Reserve

Regardless, there were still some big, fat, leathery looking alligators taking their afternoon nap along the banks of the areas that were still open, and I got to snap a few closeup photos before my courage escaped me!

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Sleeping alligator, resting a meter away from the walkway, where there are no barriers between you and these giant things. Welcome to Florida!

We didn’t see bison or wild horses during this trip, so we shall return in late Spring no doubt, to try our luck again.

Chomp!

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