We Found A Gator Nest
I was exploring the Everglades a few months back when I found a nest of baby alligators. It goes to show what an exciting and mysterious place the Glades really are. Last year(2016) I was able to get out there several times. This trip was in November. My usual route is to take the Tamiami Trail, which is also known as U.S. 41, to the Big Cypress National Park Visitors Center. I also stop several times on the side of the road to look at some of the big gators that line the canal bank. The visitors center has a small board walk that overlooks the canal and usually has some large alligators basking in the sun right below. The next destination is Loop road. The road’s entrance is next to the former location of the now burned down Monroe station. I won’t go into details about loop road now(that is another article). But this is my normal trip to get into the Glades.
When I’m driving on Loop road I like to look for places to stop and explore. You never know what you are going to find, except gators, lots of gators. In the past I’ve seen snakes, deer, armadillos, river otters, all manner of birds, bobcat tracks, and many rare wild flowers. Loop road is paralleled by a canal and has a few bridges that cross it. I parked at one of these bridges and began to look around. Then I saw a baby alligator swimming.
I took out my camera and captured the above shot. This little guy looked to be no more than a few weeks old. One thing I know is that if there is one little alligator there are more. And sure enough I spotted another .
Then I saw these other two in the photo below. Then I saw several more. At this point they had also saw me and were hiding or swimming away.
Most of the gators were going in the same direction towards a pile of overgrown rocks. The baby in the photos below led me to the key spot.
The actual alligator nest. Check out these photos below. How many gators do you see in there? I believe there is at least four, but possibly a fifth. So between the ones around the nest and the ones in it, there were probably around 10 babies. What is missing in this situation?
The Mom gator! Here is a piece of advice about the Everglades: Always be aware of your surroundings. Here is a second piece of advice: If you see a baby alligator then be very careful because the mother is most likely very close and very angry. So my first move after spotting the initial little gator, before even thinking about my camera, was to climb up on a rock and look for the mom. It turns out she was hiding under the bridge. She swam out and was kind of aggressively posturing around, but didn’t try to attack or anything. After a few minutes of shooting photos and observing I decided it was best to leave these reptiles in peace. I came back to the same area around 2 months later and noticed several small gators that were about double the size of these guys. They took off before I could get a picture but I’m reasonably sure they were from this brood.