Braving Fresh Water in Florida

This summer marks my 9th year in Florida and the FIRST TIME I’ve stepped foot a body of fresh water. Thomas and I have stayed clear of fresh water for one reason only….ALLIGATORS. We have no desire to get near any of them. We hear stories of people jogging and getting eaten by gators. Thomas saw one on the golf course one day. And well, it just doesn’t seem very smart to get yourself, your dogs, or your children anywhere near them.

Now, true Floridians have no problem getting close to gators. My little tiny boss loves to go gator gigging each year (now I’m no expert, but from what I understand this means she hunts one at night and bops them on top of the head and then pulls them on the boat with her). She spends nearly every day on the river. I asked her if the gators were nearby, “on the other side of the rock” was her reply. Now consider the fact that she is probably sitting on this rock sunning and I think maybe you will see my point that is is probably wisest to stay away (that is if you aren’t a Floridian).

But it seems like everyday this is becoming more and more like home. And well, Thomas and I BRAVED our first river excursion on July 4th with our close friends the Clark’s and got our feet wet in the Ochlockonee River. And it was worth it. NO GATORS in sight. Instead, there was CLAM DIGGING. Hot DOG roasting. FISHING. and lots of FUN. We found some very large mussels, caught some fish, and the kids played in the water. And we also found a Georgia Thumper. This is the big bug Jasper is holding in the pictures below — I had never seen one before. In one of the other pictures below, Jasper is holding an earth worm. When it was time to go, 5 hours later, Jasper was sad and asked to stay.

That night we let the kids try out some very large sparklers (under close supervision). That was cool.

And this marked the beginning of our preschool studies into fish and other water animals.

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