Yeah, they can!
I paddled out on the lake (chanting) with a head full of hopelessness and worry, and saw more wild alligators than I have ever seen in my life. Fortunately they were all smallish (except the last one, it was a little larger and closer than I liked… perhaps 4 feet long, and only about 3 to 4 feet off the kayak). I got a good look at it, perhaps better than I really needed or wanted. Seeing alligators like that is something so primal and powerful that not much that goes on in my busily worried mind can compete with it.
And I paddled in feeling better by far than when I left. Somehow getting up close and personal with dinosaurs (by the way, alligators don’t look a damn thing like birds–I’m just sayin’ is all) clears the mind… plenty.
Speaking of birds, the bald eagles were also out in force, and flying lower and closer than normal.
It’s such a blessing to be living in this house on the lake, without it I’d be falling fast.
Don’t worry, I have no plans to get out and wrestle ’em. The alligators, that is, the eagles are tough to get close to.
I know what you’re thinking: “Be careful Justine, you probably shouldn’t be out there with the alligators,” well, peradventure that is so, but I kinda feel that kayaking in and around Florida’s wildlife is a lot healthier than other ways I could deal with my stress… like, say… drinking whiskey or laying about stewing… or laying about stewing AND drinking whiskey.
I’ll take my chances with the alligators.