off topic; was RE: Embarrassing bulb moments

Adam Fikso
Mon, 18 Dec 2006 20:42:20 PST
Jim.  I LIKE snakes and would like to hear about your adventures.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jim McKenney" <>
To: "'Pacific Bulb Society'" <>
Sent: Monday, December 18, 2006 9:23 PM
Subject: [pbs] off topic; was RE: Embarrassing bulb moments

> Joe's story reminded me of one of my own. Joe mentioned that most of us 
> have
> probably done silly things now and then. Some of us, as you'll soon read, 
> do
> stupid things, too.
> Let's say I was on the lookout for wild Hymenocallis. Actually, this one 
> has
> nothing to do with bulbs, so it's definitely off topic. However, anyone 
> who
> has spent time in the field collecting can relate to it easily. And it's
> worth reading if only to give you a break from all the worry about getting
> what you want for the holidays. Or, for those of you dealing with frigid
> winds and snow drifts, to have reason to be glad that you're not in the 
> hot
> place I was.
> About fifteen years ago I was visiting friends in Savannah, Georgia. They
> were a bit perplexed when, in response to my query about sightseeing, they
> started to tell me about the people stuff and I interrupted them and told
> them no, I wanted a swamp.
> Well, I got my swamp. My companion Wayne and I drove over to the 
> Okefenokee
> Swamp, found a boat rental place on the Suwannee River, and unencumbered 
> by
> maps or compasses placed our trust in the little marks blazed on stumps
> protruding from the water every hundred yards or so. We kept going, deeper
> and deeper into the swamp. It was a glorious March day, too early for
> mosquitoes, but warm enough for the alligators to be out: big, fat
> alligators.
> Since you're reading this story from me, you already know that I got out
> alive. I can't take any credit for that. I also got out without getting
> lost, although I've never figured that one out, either. As several people
> have pointed out to me over the course of my life, my guardian angel is 
> easy
> to spot: he's the prematurely very gray one.
> An hour or two into the swamp, I decided I wanted to get a good close up
> look at an alligator. There were plenty of them; it was just a matter of
> finding one which we could get close to. Eventually I spotted a likely
> candidate: down a little dead-end side slough I spotted a robust nine 
> footer
> basking at the edge of his hole. This hole was a space at the end of the
> slough; the space was maybe fifteen or twenty feet wide and roughly
> circular. As we approached, the alligator showed no sign of interest in 
> us.
> Naturally, I took that as an invitation to move in closer. By then we were
> maybe twenty feet away from the alligator, and from that distance it was
> apparent that the alligator was closer to twelve or thirteen feet long. It
> was definitely bigger around than I am and certainly weighed a lot more. 
> Why
> does it sound as if I'm evaluating a potential wrestling partner?
> We were sitting in the little boat all this time. I took a few pictures. 
> Not
> satisfied, I decided to move in closer and stand up in the little boat 
> (have
> I mentioned that it was a little boat? It certainly wasn't a twelve or
> thirteen foot boat!). Now I'm not a boat person; I'm not afraid of boats
> (read on: maybe I should be); but I have never had much experience with
> them. If I had, I would never have stood up. The boat was rocking a bit 
> like
> a Ferris wheel seat. Wayne was getting a bit of motion sickness.
> And that's when it happened. If you didn't exactly see this, it might be
> hard to believe. But that huge alligator suddenly - and I really mean
> suddenly - threw itself from the bank into the water of its hole in what
> seemed to be one effortless motion. The alligator seems to have overlooked
> the inconvenient circumstance that we were also utilizing much of that 
> same
> space. A robust wave nearly capsized the boat. Miraculously I didn't go 
> into
> the water to become gator snacks. I instinctively dropped to the bottom of
> the boat (which, I'm pretty sure, was probably perpendicular to the water
> surface briefly) and held on for dear life.
> Luckily for us, the alligator was neither particularly territorial nor
> aggressive. That was the last we saw of it.
> Since I'm the member of the team with the background in zoology, Wayne was
> inclined to believe me as I reassured him all along that alligators rarely
> attack people. Little did he realize that it wasn't the aggressiveness of
> the alligators he had to worry about: it was the stupidity of his 
> companion!
> Life was hard for him for awhile, but now that he has Google and 
> wikipedia,
> he has two good weapons for dealing with Jimmy-speak.
> I've got some good snake stories, too, if anyone is interested. But I seem
> to remember that the last time I brought up the topic of snakes on this
> list, the response was anything but encouraging.
> Jim McKenney
> Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7
> My Virtual Maryland Garden
> Webmaster Potomac Valley Chapter, NARGS
> Editor PVC Bulletin
> Webmaster Potomac Lily Society
> _______________________________________________
> pbs mailing list

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