#WildlifeWednesday – Alligators Can Be Fun, Too. Sort Of.

Hi, Folks! Just a fun post today, to get #WildlifeWednesday underway. I’m sure I’ll have something more informative about our alligators and crocodiles in the future (like how to tell them apart), but for today, decided to rerun a post I did for the St. Johns River Eco Tours a few years ago, just to give you a laugh. (Or a shiver.) Enjoy. (Or take a second look around at where you live, and be happy it will likely never be an issue for you. 😀 )

File This Under

The Ol’ Swimmin’ Hole, Florida Style 

Yes, I know American alligators range much farther north/northwest than Florida, but something tells me, gators are a bit more commonplace down here, as the following  photos might suggest. Especially if you live on waterfront property in the south part of the state. Enjoy!

You’d probably expect to see alligators like this
when you visit the Sunshine State.

Or even like this, just hangin’ out on the river.
(Photo by Doug Little)

But maybe not so much like this!
(Speed Bumps. We do them differently here. )
If you live in Florida, you have to be prepared
for the unexpected traffic hazard.
Hint: I’d drive around this one, if I were you. 

I’d also swing wide around this mama and her babies, or as we call ’em,
Florida ducklings.

Honestly, you might want to give up golf for another sport, too.
After all, one hardly ever sees gators on a basketball court.

Mostly, I’d advise yielding the right of way to alligators pretty much all the time.

Like Here . . .

And definitely here . . .

And even HERE.
(Yes, I know it’s your driveway, but do you really want to argue with him?)

Just be very careful when the doorbell rings!

“Ding-dong. Avon calling. Honest.”

“Open the door, I said!”

“Be that way, then. I’ll just wait right here, shall I? You’ve got to
open the door some time.”

“In the meantime, don’t think any other salespeople are getting by me!”

“Wait! What if I go around back? There’s got to be another way in.”

“Rats. This isn’t working. Guess I’ll just try the neighbors.”

“Well, heck. Neighbors didn’t answer the door, either. 
Might as well head back to the pond to see if anyone else has a better idea.”

As it turns out, they did!
😀 😀 😀

Okay, folks. That’s about as much silliness as any of us needs for one afternoon. I’ll be back soon with another #WildlifeWednesday, probably of a less frivolous nature. Hope you’ll tune in then! 

NOTE: This post was originally done for my good friend and eco-tour boat owner, Doug Little, and appeared on his St. Johns River Eco Tours site. Hope you’ll stop by and check out what’s happening on the river:  St. Johns River Eco Tours

Finally! #NotesFromTheRiver is Resuming!

This Guy Would Love to See You There!
(Note: This is an alligator, honest. No crocs up here.  😀 )

I’ve been unable to keep up with all my blogging due to everything that’s been going on since Irma came a-calling, but I am starting back up with one of my favorite things: my nature blog for St. Johns River Eco Tours. Today’s post on #NotesFromThe River is about an upcoming event a week from Saturday. (January 13) Hope you’ll check it out and share far and wide, and if any of you are in the central Florida area, hope you’ll consider coming to see Doug and I at DeBary Hall Historic Site for this fun program.  Thanks for helping spread the word.

#NotesFromTheRiver – Presentations, Photography, and Information, Oh, My!

#InspirationBoardSunday #SundayBlogShare

A Narrow, Black Water Stream, Chock Full of Mystery

Those of you who have been following The Write Stuff for very long, know that I believe in inspiration boards. The walls around my computer area are covered in cork, where I pin photos and illustrations to inspire me as I write. Actors or models who look the way I picture my characters, animals that might factor into my books, and lots and lots of scenery. Whether it’s an awe-inspiring shot taken from a mountaintop in North Carolina, where my Wake-Robin Ridge series is set, or a dramatic image of an alligator, basking on the banks  of the  St. Johns River, where my Riverbend series is set, you’ll find it within sight of my work space. Whole scenes have been written, based on ideas that come to me from photos.

If you’ve never collected images for inspiration, I highly recommend you give it a try. In the meantime, here are some of the images I surround myself with when I’m working on my Riverbend series, set here in central Florida. Enjoy! And be inspired! 🙂

03Jul2013_011-149-800-750-80-wm-right_bottom-20-DougLittle-255-255-255-20Baby Gators on a Log Continue reading

#InspirationBoardSunday #SundayBlogShare

For many of us, nothing is quite so full of inspiration as an animal. (Witness the ten kajillion online photos and videos on YouTube). They touch us in our daily lives, teach us how to enjoy the world, and surprise us with their beauty, strength, and grace. Why not let more of them inspire us in our writing?

I enjoy including animals in all of my books. My characters have pets that immediately say something about who they are. From the enigmatic MacKenzie Cole’s sole companion, an Irish wolfhound named Rosheen . . .

8378f7160a81ac22ed0dfc458dfd5b62 Continue reading

#InspirationBoardSunday #SundayBlogShare #Florida

To make up for being gone so long, I’m taking you on a short photo tour today. Enjoy!!

Inspiration can come from anywhere or anyone.
I’m inspired by lush habitat and scenery. 

Wekiwa_IMG_6363-EditWekiva River – Dark and Mysterious

I’m equally inspired by wildlife and birds.

800px-Prothonotary_Warbler_Prothonotary Warbler

IMG_3001Little Blue Heron and White Ibis

0003-72-800-750-80-wm-right_bottom-20-DougLittle-255-255-255-20Purple Gallinule

Baby alligators, last year’s and newer hatchlings.

0013-82-800-750-80-wm-right_bottom-20-DougLittle-255-255-255-20Not such a baby, this time.

Sometimes I’m inspired by things I’ll probably never see in the wild.

Albino alligator. Wanna dance?

new-orleans-22-e1345389323223Blue-eyed Leucistic Alligator (My inspiration for Big Blue, in Swamp Ghosts)

Inspiration! It’s all around us!
All we have to do is open our eyes and unstop our ears.

"Kelly Park, Apopka, Florida"

#InspirationBoardSunday – #AppalachianMountains #FloridaRivers

Doubling up today. Make might that a habit for this new feature. That way you can be TWICE as inspired! 🙂
Sometimes my inspiration comes from the nearly overwhelming beauty of an Appalachian Spring. (Great name for a symphony, Mr.  Copland!)

And sometimes it comes from the close observation of the plants and wildlife of the
St. Johns  River, including basking alligators, and turtles like this one, which knows when the alligator’s hungry, and when it’s not.DSCN1991

Meet the Author Tour Today!

Can You See Me Now?

Car’s all packed, and I’m ready to go. As soon as my cover designer, Nicki Forde, gets here, we’re off for an afternoon of fun, wildlife observation, and book talk! What could be better? Thank you to everyone who shared my posts about this event. We have a great group signed up, and I can’t wait to meet them all!

Hopefully, I’ll have some good pictures to share when I get back. Have a great Saturn’s Day, you guys. Oh, and if you’re interested, there are still some openings on Tuesday’s tour, 4/28, 1:30pm.  You can book here: St. Johns River Eco Tours.