Gator Snag

Every year about this time when the waters rise the gators start moving.
It's breeding season. We get at least one every year in our pond. They are usually about 2.5 to 3 feet and still have their yellow stripes.

We noticed this one about 2 weeks ago. And we also noticed he was quite bigger than we are used to. 

He had made himself quite comfortable. We could go out and take a few steps toward him and the gator would splash right into the pond but... 
He would follow us around the pond. One time he actually made a run at Dusty coming straight up out of the water onto land. 

Um, fellar's got to go.

We called the Florida Nuisance Alligator hotline and they hooked us up with these licensed trappers. The whole thing took about 5 minutes.

Just before they arrived we had walked around the entire pond several times looking for him. He was nowhere to be found. Well, these folks know their business. They put down a boombox , blasting sounds of baby alligators in trouble. Well, this big gator comes rushing out of the weeds making a bee-line towards the sound. The trapper guy throws a huge treble hook from your average fishing pole and foul snags him. The trapper gal uses a snare on a pole when he reels him close to the bank.

Easy Peasy! Sit on him, wrap up his jaws with electrical tape, remove the hook and they're done!

Aw, he's a beautiful animal.

The guy handles him and tell us it's a male.

Off to the truck to take him to the processing plant. If it were a female they would have taken him to the farm but because it's a male, and males will just fight and kill each other they will have to "harvest" him.

There he is;

All 6 feet and 2 inches!!!!

Once in a Lifetime - Century Plant

My century plants, found on the road side about half dead, have decided they've had enough and it's time to bloom.... 
and die.

Here's a slideshow of the growth.

The stalks (called masts) were amazing. The tip here looks like a little tiki guy.

The flowers were less than impressive after all that work.

There she is - Full Bloom. 

The seed pods are falling everywhere. It'll  be a mess to clean up.

And now the plant dies...