Here’s Looking at You, Kid

American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) ~ Brazoria Wildlife Refuge
(Click image for greater detail)

When winter temperatures rise, so do American alligators: up and out of the muddy warmth that helps to keep them comfortable during the winter, and onto the bayou banks for a little mid-day sunshine. Still somewhat sluggish and still covered with a coating of sandy mud, this mostly-submerged gator rose into view so stealthily he failed to break his own reflection.

It’s hard to read an alligator’s expression, but I fancy he was as surprised to find me standing on the bank as I was to see him in the shallow water. We pondered one another briefly before he sank beneath the water’s surface: out of sight, but certainly not out of mind.

 

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Flying The Alligator Flag

Alligator flag, or powdery thalia (Thalia dealbata)

Rain lilies rejoice in occasional dowsings, but other plants prefer to live in a damp, or even flooded, environment. Powdery thalia is such a plant.

As its name suggests, it lives comfortably alongside the alligator in bayous and backwaters. If you see this flag flying, it’s best to keep a sharp eye for one of its usual companions.

Even before flowering, its three to six foot bloom stalk isn’t hard to spot. And once the blossoms appear, their messy splendor and vibrant color shine in a world often overwhelmed by shades of green.

Best of all, the flowers don’t bite.

 

Comments always are welcome.