Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Later, Alligator!: Hillsborough River State Park

The second day of vacation was predicted to be the warmest, so we chose to pick up our rental car and drive out to Hillsborough River State Park, where we rented a canoe. We paddled for two hours, goggling the many catfish on the river bottom, about 8 turtles either sunning themselves or jumping in the water, and a snow-white crane soaring over us. At one point I snapped a picture of the view in front of us. Then, as we drew closer, I realized there was a little grey heron of some kind hunting bugs in the lily pad. Then, as we passed the floating vegetation, I realized that a scaly back and a beady eye were peering back at us from among the greenery. It was our first alligator sighting! All told, we kept our distance from 5 different ‘gators. After a quick snack of trail mix observed with great interest by a couple of squirrels, we headed back toward town, eventually enjoying a lovely Thai meal with friend AEH from Champaign who happened to be in town for a conference. As you can see, there were lots of creatures out enjoying the sun that day:

First day: Florida Aquarium

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