swamp thang

After hearing on the news yesterday morning that a woman found an eight-foot alligator inside her kitchen, I had a PTSD flashback of my alligator experience, and a reminder of our ever-present problem at the ranch. It turns out that the Florida woman had a hard time convincing Emergency Dispatch that she was indeed looking at an alligator and not an iguana, and, by the sound of her voice, she was not thrilled with her reptilian visitor. Neither am I. Note to nature lovers everywhere: feel free to unite and boycott this post, but I am stinking scared stupid of them, and if anyone were to help us accidentally make the Jurassic monsters disappear, there would not be a day of mourning at our house.

I’m not from Louisiana and never saw one except at the zoo–until I met one face-to-face…on the first day we decided to put our kids in a little paddle boat in our pond at our ranch. No kidding. This seven foot mama started circling the boat just as the burgers were plopped on the grill. I heard the kids yell that there was a ‘gator, and so I thought I’d stroll over and say oh, it’s probably a log. Nope, this log swam in circles. I calmly (not) said, “Okay, guys. Let’s give ’em a little room, and do the boat thing later.” OKAY! Not in Texas. Not in almost central Texas. We later found out that alligators take care of the nutria that were building dams and keeping the water from flowing the way it was designed. They were introduced to the waters on purpose (brilliance at its best with another government “solution”) because it is nature’s way of keeping nutria under control. I could think of another way to take care of the problem, but that was far too Texan and not environmentally friendly enough to implement by the power company who operates the holding pond. Even if you don’t advocate guns (I am no fan myself), do you advocate alligators, who are, by the way, exploding in population all over east Texas? Today, we entertain a 13-foot alligator at times who “owns” the water. It’s primitive enough out there with spiders the size of the palm of your hand and all four kinds of poisonous snakes, but ‘gator families just send me over the edge. Let’s see: a 4-pound nutria or a 13-foot alligator. Which would you choose? (July 2007)


11 thoughts on “swamp thang

  1. NO WAY!!!
    Being a Louisiana girl
    I have seen TOO MANY alligators
    and don’t want to see one more
    I had a raccoon
    in my kitchen THIS WEEK and
    and my boys were in hog heaven

  2. I hear you, girl! It’s nutria for me. I used to live in Houma, Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana. Give me a nutria any day:)


  3. I can hardly wrap my mind around any of this. We have centipedes in Indiana, that’s about it. I always make the comment that I wish alligators were extinct when I see them (and crocodiles) on TV. (I am not related to Steve Irwin at all.) I saw the news story of this poor woman who had the behemoth in her kitchen and almost got sick.

  4. I could have lived without knowing this useful information. It’s too scary! I think it’s time for those shooting lessons! I hope I don’t have nightmares tonight! 🙂
    Love you,
    Angie xoxo

  5. I suspect that nutria don’t eat small pets and children so I’d have to “just say no to alligators.” Of course, we have neither nutria nor alligators here and for the life of me, I cannot think of any pests other than the occasional inebriated derby guest that might be indigenous to Kentucky.

  6. I grew up on Oyster Creek in Sugar Land when Sugar Land was a small town. We had giant, hairy spiders, snakes, and nutria. I detested the spiders and nutrias. Then one day, there were fewer nutrias..then I saw the alligator who must have come over to the creek from the Brazos River because he appeared after a flood. I never swam in the creek again and made sure I didn’t flip the sailboat after that!

    I still operate by the motto: American by birthm Texan by the grace of God…critters and all

  7. That gave me the creeps. I once lived in FL and went to a bridal shower on the docks of a Lake one night and all I remember was staring out into dozens of red eyes. I was scared stiff.

  8. I with ya on this one sister!! My hubby has some photos of a huge one they pulled out of the Rio Grande river down south that I refuse to look at as he gave me enough of a visual when he described it with his words. (I’ll spare you and the readers.) They’re not in our area yet (that we know of), but could be moving up. Lots of nutria here too & my experience with them is that they move out of your way.

    Let’s see– ummm– I vote for nutria!!

    Blessings in Christ–

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