Monday, November 2, 2009

Alligators are alive and well in Georgia.

Yesterday afternoon, Paul and I went to explore a local park that's right in the middle of Augusta. It was a little hard to find because it isn't marked with any signs, but it was really cool! There's a forest area that reminded me a lot of Virginia where I used to walk with my friends. Once within the canopy, you can barely see the sky and everything takes on a dark and twisted aura. It's a lovely dark and twisted, though, the kind of ambiance that sparks the imagination. You wouldn't think there would be much life there, right in the middle of the city, but we saw the most unthinkable thing... an alligator!

There's this swampy place back in the trees where you can stand on a wooden platform overlooking the stagnant, leaf-strewn water. It's strange because the water is so still that it's almost like glass-- and yet it's surface is riddled with tiny ripples, indicating that something is moving in the water. I'm sure it's mostly frogs, newts, and other amphibious things, as well as the gases from certain chemical reactions. But right when we walked up, Paul spotted an alligator swimming silently through the water. He signaled to me, but I didn't see it until right before it went down under the water to hide. It was kind of long hump that arched up a little and then dipped down before my eyes. It was probably three feet long, although that's hard to say with any accuracy.

I was totally shocked to think that people were running around the park with their toddlers, and I hoped that they realized the danger in the swampy part of the park. Wouldn't that be quite the family memory. Little Joey threw his toy out into the water and then waded out to get it. Suddenly a big shape materialized in the water and there was nothing anyone could do but scream in horror...

What can I say? I lean toward drama. If I was bringing my kids to that particular park, though, they would be a very short leash.