Monday, March 14, 2011

Why Penny Stays on Leash

In Texas, we dealt with feral pigs and javelinas, so it was very unusual to let Penny off-leash. Armadillos were something to chase but not to fear.

Here in Louisiana, there are signs posted warning of alligators and since it is March, I was a little skeptical. Until today. We did some great birding (see birding post) at Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge and I saw a pair of eyeballs looking at us while we drove a birding trail loop. A refuge volunteer, in response to Mary's question about problems with 'gators, told her in a great Louisiana accent that "we lose a couple of dogs now and then..."
At the Sabine NWR, as I stepped on the observation platform and raised my binoculars to look up the channel for birds, this guy, almost at my feet, nearly stopped my heart. He just laid there on the bank -- but he was big -- and likely pretty quick. Penny was in the truck and will be on leash until we get back into less hostile territory.

Mosquitoes, 75 degree temperatures, and a stiff breeze off the Gulf made it feel like July in Vermont. Trees have leafed out, flowering trees are doing their thing, and this weekend, everyone seemed to be starting their yardwork and early gardening. Another day here and we start slowly north to Natchez.

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