Posts Tagged ‘alligators’

Jim Forster: Water Creatures

Monday, December 23rd, 2013


Have you ever wondered what all of the wildlife thinks about when they see one of us ski by? Curious perhaps, but I’d bet they are more scared than not.

Just think about it: here comes a large machine, going real fast and making a lot of noise towing another living animal. Their first instinct is to get as far away from you as possible. The point I’m making is that when you’re skiing on a lake, river, or canal that you’re not familiar with, there’s no need to fear the animals (unless you’re in Africa and hippos are in the water). I live in South Florida and respect the alligators, but am not afraid of them for the reasons I mentioned above. Unless you’re swimming in the water and are in for long periods of time, alligators will stay as far away from you and the boat as possible. Don’t mistake what I’m saying, alligators should be respected. After all, it’s their habitat that we’re intruding on, but as long as you’re near a boat with it’s engine running, they will stay away from you. To them, the boat is bigger, louder and faster than they are.

I have seen some really large water moccasins when I was skiing in Louisiana and I definitely gave them a wide berth. I wouldn’t recommend irritating them as they can be pretty aggressive and are very poisonous. But for the most part, where I ski we rarely see any snakes. Also, the waterfowl (birds) can also be a factor when you ski. Here in South Florida, there are a couple species of ducks that inhabit the canals and lakes. They too, should be respected. At times they swim across our boat path and we wait it out, after all, they’re living creatures and we wouldn’t dare cause harm to them.

As we approach the Winter months, remember, the gators and snakes are reptiles and they are cold blooded. They become slow and lethargic until they warm up in the sun, so if you should encounter them, don’t become alarmed. Chances are they will just lay there unless you disturb them. Well, I hope that I haven’t frightened anyone and would like to wish everyone skiing at the upcoming World Barefoot Championships in Mulwala, Australia good luck. I hope to see you in there in March!

Jim Forster