You know the saying, “Everything’s big in Texas”?

I’d argue with that, and prefer either a simple change of venue — “Everything’s big in Florida” — or a reworked version of the axiom: “Everything survives in Florida.”
It’s true. Florida has nothing resembling a winter, so in a nutshell, nothing dies unless it’s eaten, shot, run over, struck by lightning, or hit in the head with a cinderblock during a hurricane. Pet Burmese pythons have been known to escape or be intentionally let go by doltlike hominids, with the result often being a suspicious number of missing cats and small dogs in the affected neighborhood.
An even better example is the iguana, which formerly existed only in cages and aquaria, but now thrive mightily in the wild (meaning in people’s back yards and the Everglades flood-control canals running through urban areas) thanks to douchelike anthropoids letting them go free. I used to see scads of them while doing my utnost to mimic running on trails in places like Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale, which meant running alongside one of these canals. They’re skittish and funny as hell. When one of them lurking near water’s edge would see me coming it would go from zero to about ten miles an hour in an instant and then do an exaggerated belly-flop into the canal. In the “winter,” when it became cold by poikilotherm standards (mid-40’s), they appeared much more tame because they were to damn cold to move when I’d come jogging into view, and so would jus sit there and brood (I guess).


Anyway, some McDonald’s higher-up sent me these pictures. The first two show the discoveries of Florida Power and Light workers near Orlando and the third is self-explanatory.



Vital stats: The first alligator was 18 feet, two inches long; the culvert contained 87 rattlesnakes.
Credit for these pictures goes to one Karen L. Prince of somewhere in the Scumslime State. She has others on her site, along with some poems and things, but I couldn’t find a way to use them as they don’t seem to fit the general tenor of this blog.

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  1. #1 by LeoC on April 26, 2007 - 2:10 pm

    That rattlesnake picture must be either staged or not in Florida. Snakes den in cold climates during winter months; Florida doesn’t have winter months. (To be more specific, the Easter Diamondback Rattlesnake, the rattlesnake species found in Florida, does not live in cold climates and does not den regardless of the temperature.)
    Other than denning and mating, snakes are solitary animals and actively antisocial.

  2. #2 by Shelley on April 26, 2007 - 3:11 pm

    “Everything survives in Florida”
    Unless you’re a manatee.

  3. #3 by Jeb, FCD on April 26, 2007 - 3:47 pm

    I’ve seen the rattlesnake photo before (amongst others), except they were supposedly taken in Texas by an oil exploration crew.

  4. #4 by Caroline on April 26, 2007 - 3:50 pm

    The last pic looks like one I saw last summer, and if it is, it was actually taken not in Florida but in Hilton Head, SC.

  5. #5 by Alan Kellogg on April 27, 2007 - 2:32 am

    I’ve seen the video the last shot was taken from on local news. Supposed to be from an incident in Florida. Now while gators are known to nest in South Carolina these days, I don’t think they’re in the state in any great numbers.

  6. #6 by Charles Hargrove on April 27, 2007 - 8:07 pm

    First two photos have been discussed on Snopes:
    http://www.snopes.com/photos/animals/culvert.asp

  7. #7 by Kevin Beck on April 27, 2007 - 8:41 pm

    Okay, so now the only remaining question is, do I have to take full credit for being a sucker, or can I assign part of the blame to Karen L. Prince or the person who e-mailed me the pics or both?
    I admit I had some doubts about the rattlers, but after that whole episode with the exploding aligator-devouring python a couple years ago I’d believe pretty much anything.
    It would be very unusual to see a healthy alligator lingering in anyone’s yard, much less trying to bust open the front door. The few I saw from up close disappeared quickly after they spotted a human.

  8. #8 by Jeb, FCD on April 30, 2007 - 9:30 pm

    Kevin,
    Take full credit for not doing due diligence. I think we’ve all done it once, and most of us care about not doing it again.
    There are two alligators that live in one of the lakes by our house (in the middle of Baton Rouge, LA). The city scoffs when we call and tell them. The gators enjoy sunning themselves on one of our neighbor’s yard, not really appreciating how tasty they are blackened.
    My neighbor hasn’t said if they’ve ever tried to force entry.

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