The world is a dangerous place.  That’s why I think it’s a good thing when Donald Trump speaks.  He sounds like the voice of the National Rifle Association.  The NRA was born when a growing nation recognized the need for gun control, especially in urban areas.  Wayne LaPierre is famous for calling federal agents “jack-booted government thugs” who wear “Nazi bucket helmets and black storm trooper uniforms”. He was afraid of monsters when public attacks were unheard of.  Does that make him a visionary?  Now the NRA website and Wayne LaPierre look like an advertisement for Soldier of Fortune, a magazine for mercenaries that promotes military and global adventure. The Gun Lobby has changed the interpretation of the Second Amendment and raised money to put a stranglehold on politicians.  Trump looks like a front page cover.

There was a very sad little death in Florida the other day.  A family went for a walk on a place that looked like a beach and an alligator killed their baby. IMHO the Disney company made a murky marsh look like a nice place to go sun-bathing. The natural landscape of Florida is a saw-grass swamp filled with dangerous wild animals and beautiful poisonous plants.    Florida kills 7000 nuisance alligators each year, but they would rather everyone learn to live with alligators.

An alligator can run 25 mph on land in short bursts.  Alligators can climb trees and fences.  They like getting into swimming pools.  This Alligator wanted to ring the doorbell. Alligators often grow 7-8 feet long but, they can reach over 13 feet long. Naturally, you shouldn’t feed alligators.

I think you should visit a gator and see what Florida really looks like.  Florida is where we ride bikes in the winter.  It’s perfect weather in January and rural areas like Hernando County are cheap.  On the General James Van Fleet State Trail, you can often see an alligator.  I would not take a small child, but a well-behaved 12-year-old child would love the bike ride. We saw wild egrets flying, snakes slithering and alligators warming themselves on the asphalt.  Some locals warned us there was an alligator at the bridge.  When we got there we saw a 13-foot alligator beneath a bridge with two teenagers going after him.  Maybe they will eat him or sell his pelt.  No one protects big alligators and that’s OK with me.  We saw a couple 3-foot alligators. We reached the ranger station at the end of the trail and there was a small dog behind a very high chain link fence.  I thought it was a warning system and the very high fence was to discourage fence climbing alligators.

My favorite trail is the Withlacoochee Trail because it is a beautiful ride and biking distance from Crystal River where the Manatees migrate.  It’s close to salt water marshes and beaches.  I noticed when the locals walk in remote areas they carry a baseball bat.  Alligators are not very brave. Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park arranges wildlife encounters for children.  I took a picture of the baby alligators and turtles sleeping together.  I thought it was way cooler and Disney Land.

When I was a child the Seminole Indians would wrestle alligators behind a small fence and we ate swamp cabbage and wild hog barbecue. It was important to educate the public. They would rub the alligator’s stomach and the alligator would fall asleep.  This show at an alligator rescue is more sensational than I would like, but he has some good fun facts.

Trump is like an alligator.  The only way to be safe is to be armed with knowledge. The devil you know is better than the one you don’t know. Be open to good information.

 

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