We did the Apopka, North Shore nature drive through on the way home from St. Pete. About half way in to the drive we had only spotted one gator, but then there was the smell of death as we came to one of the turns. I wasn't going to stop, but I noticed the bleached out gator from the corner of my eye. When I got out of the car I realized there was a much larger gator holding on to him.
I was trying to point it out to my wife, but she couldn't see it. She saw the dead gator, and I guess thought the head of the other was a log or part of it. So, being the nice guy I am, I went through the weeds on the other side and took a picture of it from over there. He got a little upset and defensive over what was clearly his meal. That's when my wife noticed the second animal.
He blew up, pulled his cache over to deeper water and rolled it. Then he disappeared under water for a time, but then drug back to the other side.
That was pretty cool, and there were a lot of other things out there both bright and some subtle. Like this gar, underneath our feet, in the same cove, passing under the bridge.
My buddy Matt told me about the place, and it has just opened to the public recently, but is known by birders due to the census that they take during the winter migration. Apparently, during one census they spotted over 250 different species of bird. That is incredible. I definitely need a better camera, because I'd say we saw somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 different types of birds, a deer, turtles, gar and some alligators. There was also an ibis there that I had never seen before. Sorry about the photo quality. Glossy Ibis and Great Blue Heron.
I didn't see any snakes but it was the middle of the afternoon, and the only major draw back here is that there is no fishing allowed. It breaks my heart, especially at the one inlet where I could see water flowing. There are millions of shad in here, and I am betting some double digit bass as well, but its still a cool drive and I highly recommend it. I attached a URL that gives more info and maps at the beginning of the blog.