Yesterday I wandered into the swamp; the hot, humid, teeming, writhing mass of camouflaged predators. The swamp eats everything, even itself.
Cicadas vibrated their big beautiful bodies and made that deafening electrical sound they make. Spiders spun fantastic webs to catch cicadas. Moquitoes were eaten by dragonflies, were eaten by tadpoles, were eaten by egrets. Alligators laughed their creepy old man laughs and pretended to be floating logs that watch with hungry gold eyes.
Reptiles are beautiful and terrifying. They are complete opportunists, there is no reasoning with them. Not that one would reason with a tiger that was chewing off your head, but there is the feeling that a tiger is a big kitty which could be cuddled with - under the right circumstances. And while some people play with alligators, wrestle them, show them off for fun, no one - not even for a second - thinks that an alligator is their friend.
Unless of course you consider it friendly to be dragged underwater, spun unconscious, stowed under a log until you are half rotten, and then enjoyed with great delight by something with more teeth than your entire family. (That last bit about the teeth was a bit of "artistic license" a.k.a. exaggeration -- they only have 74-80 teeth.)
Some photos of new swamp friends:
This is small gator - they often get to 14 feet around here!
I'll have more to say soon about my time here. And I wrote a song about the swamp!