Monday, April 21, 2008

In the wild ...

As children, we used to go fishing with our parents, into the Everglades, along Biscayne Bay, or down in the Keys. This was before air conditioning in private homes became common. We three kids were accustomed to riding in the back seat with the windows open as far as they would go. The semi-tropical airs could give you a facial windburn if you were not careful. The front seats had a triangular vent window which, when opened, somewhat protected the faces of luckier riders.

We were coming back from one of
our secret fishing spots on the edge of the 'Glades, via a dirt road which ran through dry brushy growth. Using a dirt road mandated a slow pace to keep the dust down. Mom was driving when she called to us to quick, look out the back window. She had noticed something in the rear view mirror.

When we did, we saw that
a Florida Panther was following our car. It was about 20 yards back down the road, ambling along with a deliberate, loose jointed gait. its head and spine were held relaxed on the same level, as it came. The shoulder blades were working up and down as it lifted and placed its front paws. It was perfectly at ease, ignoring our car and, after we had watched for a short while, it turned to its left and disappeared completely into the brush. It was thin, but healthy looking, as I remember, and it ignored us so absolutely that we had no fear of it.

We would not have gotten out the car, though ...

5 comments:

Coffee Bean said...

How cool! We once saw a wild alligator in Louisiana. It was very unexpected and we couldn't believe it!

Mabunny said...

Hey there:) Saw your comment on coffee's blog and thought I'd pop in to say hi:)) I like the posts I've read so far, they made me smile. Always a good thing. Pop on over and have a look see at my blog. I have a contest running till tomorrow about the funniest wedding story, whether it was yours or someone you know. If you have a story , go to my blog and scroll down to my 100th post , on april 9, and leave your story in the comments section.

Nice to meet you:))will read more of your blog when I have more time

MaBunny

RANGER said...

Coffee (may I call you coffee?), they are a fact of life here in the semi-tropics. The population has rebounded remarkably. J once had an encounter with one at his work, and so have I, at my work. Mine was only 37 inches, though. His was big.

ol Doc said...

I recall going to Shark Valley in the Everglade National Park - as a youngster, and feeding alligators Wintergreen Mints. We'd drop them from above and the mints would float on top of the water. The 'gator would sidle up beside one and open his mouth and chomp sideways, scooping the mint in and downing it. They never missed!

Karen Deborah said...

very cool! coffee beaner posted ya.