Friday, August 26, 2011

Hopkins Prairie (Part Two) Local Color

Hopkins Prairie (Part Two)

More adventures from Hopkins Prairie.   I wrote in the last post about the isolated beauty of this prairie.  Ocala National Forest is a big place.  It is just west of Lake George which is the second biggest lake in Florida.  That means there is a big area with few people.  So there are no cell towers and no cell phone coverage.    I spent the morning taking photos and painting and decided I would head to civilization and call my office for messages.  The closest civilization was Salt Springs which is about ten miles from the prairie.  Salt Springs is pretty isolated as Florida cities go.  You know you are out there when you have to ask the convenience store clerk where you can get cell phone coverage and he says:  “ . . . down the road take a left at the fork and at the top the hill behind the billboard right across from the moose lodge people stop there and usually get a couple of bars.”  I left the convenience store and looked to my left and there was a big alligator hanging from a pole with a bunch of people standing around.  Now I’m a big fan of the show “Swamp People” so I had to stop.  I guess I should provide the following disclaimer at this point:  [The opinions expressed in this post are solely the opinions of the poster.  They do not reflect the opinions of any other artists, sponsors, advertisers or other individuals or groups associated with this blog.]  Now I’m a conservationist.  I’m an environmentalist.  I support these causes.  But I also grew up in Florida during a time when the alligator was an endangered species, and, in my personal opinion, they are not endangered anymore.  At least in Florida they aren’t.  So I, in my personal opinion, am not against licensed hunting of alligators.  This gator was ‘harvested’ with the appropriate tag based on a application made by the hunters.  In my photo with the gator you will notice that there is a tag in the tail.  Is this appropriate hunting?  I’d be interested in people’s opinions.   Sure I understand the moral questions.  But don’t talk to me about that unless you’re a vegan.  (I’m a vegetarian by the way, but not for any of those reasons).  Well anyway, I thought this would make an interesting adventure to write about.  You see stuff like this when you get in the outdoors.  And these gators look really big when you’re watching them from the comfort of your couch.  They are a whole bunch bigger up close.   Besides, as a Seminole what’s so bad about one less gator? : )

Thanks for looking.

Steve Andrews

No comments:

Post a Comment