Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Gators Rule

I'm not a superstitious person by nature, not at all.

I'm not much into coincidences either. Nope, not me.

A few weeks ago I posted that my adopted state college football team, the Michigan Wolverines, had been soundly beaten by their deadly rivals, the Ohio State Buckeyes and this result for the previously undefeated Wolverines pushed them down to 3rd place in the national table and meant they had to take part in the lesser Rose Bowl last Monday (which they also lost) rather than contest the National Championship game which has been taking place tonight.

Still with me ? Ok.

So the two teams contesting the Championship game are those dastardly Buckeyes and the team which jumped from 3rd place to 2nd place and replace the Wolverines, namely the Florida Gators.

Now as this park I'm in is located in central Florida, the Gators would have to classed as the local team and so the one to root for tonight. The fact that they are playing the team 'we' in Michigan all love to hate, makes supporting the Gators even more of a given. The thing is, very few residents here are from Florida - which makes sence if you think about it. I'm not sure of the exact numbers but I'd say that the vast majority of residents are split pretty evenly between the snowbirds of Michigan and those of Ohio.

For days now, Buckeye flags and banners have been fluttering outside many homes here and I really felt that they'd romp home in the game tonight as they are a formidable outfit. Pains me to say that, but credit where it's due and all that.

So where does the superstition and/or coincidence come in ? Well when I rode down to the cafe on the lake for my lunchtime healthy option meal (yea right) today, I couldn't believe my eyes. There on a little sandbank just about 40ft from the cafe and all the people sitting enjoying their food - was the park gator that I'd been told wasn't around anymore !

I shot back up the hill to the 5th wheel and grabbed my camera and prayed that Mr. Gator would still be there on my return.

I needn't have worried as he was going nowhere. I got a few shots at different angles and then went along the few yds to get my burger. I took it back to the sandbank and munched it while watching this awesome beast.

Sure it was only about 4 or 5 feet long but apart from those almost tame gators that you see on show at Sea World or at some other entertainment complex, this was my first true wild gator. Apart from slight movements of it's beady eyes, it never moved a muscle. Despite having a 200mm lens, I wanted to get closer and so, showing a total lack of common sence and respect that the late Steve Irwin would've been proud of, I went around the fence (that provided no protection anyway) and edged along the grass until Mr. Gator decided I'd gone far enough and raised his head slightly.

Never has such a small movement away from my body caused such a large movement inside my body !

I took a VERY shaky photo and backed up to, and around, the relative safety of that fence and decided that gator stalking was not my 'thang'.

As happens on such occasions, my cowardice (and the dampness down my inner thigh) lessened and I felt foolish that this docile looking critter had evoked such terror in me just by raising it's head. It couldn't have closed the distance between us, I felt. I was never in any sort of danger, I felt. I was up for another attempt, I felt. Just then someone came along the path with a large dog which started to bark when it saw the gator. The next few seconds were a blur and all I saw was an explosion of noise and water as the gator shot off the sandbank and disappeared into the swamp. I stood open mouthed at the demonstration of raw power and speed and was very glad for that dog coming along when it did or else yours truely might have been gator food by now. Well ok maybe I'd have got a nasty bite, more likely.

In any case I was so glad to have seen the park gator with only 2 weeks to go till I leave here. But then I got to thinking......why today ? I've been here for almost 3 months with no sign of the gator and suddenly today, he appears and poses for photos. Then I remembered the game. Surely not. Surely it wasn't a sign that the total underdogs, the Florida Gators, would win ???
I mean the Buckeyes hadn't been beaten all season after all.

The game finished just a few minutes ago and the score.........Buckeyes 14 - Gators 41.

Coincidence ? I will let you make up your own minds, gentle readers.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great pics! ~ Deanna

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