Wednesday, April 01, 2015

A to Z Blogging Challenge - Alligator Farm and IWSG Wednesday

Double Shot Wednesday! What a great way to start April, and I "ain't" foolin'...

First I have to say that I'm not feeling the blues today. If you are reading this, it means I've done my work and posted as I should, and I'm doing a happy dance, excited that April is here. So, though I have my insecurities, as usual, I'm not indulging them today. Instead, I'm writing about North Florida, my birth state, for the A to Z Challenge, and I'm going to share some of the reasons why this state will always, no matter where I live, have a special place in my heart.

 First, how can I write about Florida and not write about alligators? Impossible. They are everywhere, north and south, and such a part of FL that they should probably be on the state flag. There are quite a few alligator farms/tourist attractions all over the state, but the one I've frequented the most is one with a long history since its founding in 1893.

Albino alligator in 2005. He's much bigger now!
The St. Augustine Alligator Farm is one of St. Aug's big attractions and is well worth a visit, especially if you have children. They absolutely love it there. The boardwalks make it very accessible and easy to see tons of 'gators, not to mention the zip lines over the 'gator pits! Offered are wildlife shows, exotic animals like birds of Africa, Komodo dragons, crocodiles (yes they are different!), pythons, lemurs, and fossil exhibits, native reptiles and amphibians. It is a huge park.

The experience of the Farm is worth a trip if you're in the vicinity so take some time and check it out.

Tortoises, who are also bigger now than in this photo!
an anole...


Roseate Spoonbills  in flight


Some images from:

"Seal of Florida". Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons -


  1. There is a big alligator farm not far from here, too. And it is very popular. But I have no plans to visit. Not fond of things that can actually hurt me. Though we did have a baby gator show up at our house right before Hurricane Rita hit. And it rode out the storm with us.
    Life & Faith in Caneyhead
    I am Ensign B ~ One of Tremp's Troops with the
    A to Z Challenge

  2. Looking forward to these posts, Lisa, and love the photos!

  3. Hi Lisa ... these parks are great at explaining about animals and their lives - love your photos. I've seen crocodiles - but haven't ever seen an alligator ... just would prefer not to be too close. Florida has some incredible attractions ... enjoy the A-Z .. cheers Hilary

  4. Hi Lisa, glad you are managing to keep those insecurities at bay. Hope you enjoy the A-Z challenge.
    Not sure I fancy doing a zip wire over a alligator pool!

    Suzanne (IWSG co-host)

  5. I have to admit to not being able to find it in my heart to love 'gators :) I do love lemurs though - they have a walking with lemurs section at our local endangered species part Howletts and you can get really close to them. Looks like the St. Augustine Alligator Farm has lots of interesting things in it.
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

  6. I don't think I go to the interesting parts of Florida. We see birds, and once I saw an alligator, but mostly we just sit around with the girls grandma. (MIL)

  7. Sweet... I think I would be a little freaked by the freedoms the animals might have, like the bat house in the zoo...

    Welcome in the "A"... thank you!
    Jeremy [Retro]
    AtoZ Challenge Co-Host [2015]

    There's no earthly way of knowing.
    Which direction we are going!

    Come Visit: You know you want to know if me or Hollywood... is Nuts?

  8. My son is absolutely captivated by alligators and crocodiles at the moment. I think he'd enjoy the farm as much as (and perhaps more than) Disney.

  9. We went to a gator farm in Florida, not sure exactly where but somewhere near Kissimmee (sp) where we were staying. I was fascinated. We also tried some gator bites which, to me, tasted exactly like the chicken I had eaten the night before. They explained the difference between gators and crocs.

  10. Wow, it's been there over a hundred years. That's impressive.

  11. Lisa, I've been to Clearwater for Spring Training, something that was always on my bucket list. But one thing NOT on that list is the zip line over a 'gator pit. Did they get that idea from a Bond movie? Ouch!

  12. North Florida is your birthplace? How did I not know this? Looking forward to a month-long sample of your home. :)

  13. My son moved to Miami almost two years ago, so now we make our way to Florida once or twice a year. On our first visit, we saw alligators both at the Everglades and on the sides of the road (one poor guy needed a rescue, as he was on the edge of the highway). They're fascinating creatures.

    Welcome to A to Z! Come say hello at if you have a chance.

  14. Here in Shropshire we dont get such exotic critters . . . Probably Red Kites is about as good as it gets.

    Passing by as one of Mr B's Ambassadors

    Rob Z Tobor

  15. Love your photos. I never made it to St Augustine and likely never will in the future, so enjoyed reading your blog.

  16. Hi Lisa, I have always wanted to visit Florida. Loved the tortoises and the spoonbills. I wouldn't mind visiting the Alligator Farm, though Alligators have always kind of scared me.

    Rachna Chhabria
    Co-host IWSG
    Rachna's Scriptorium

  17. I'd love a place like that. Thanks for letting us all know there is more to an alligator farm than just alligators. :-)

    Anna from Elements of Writing

  18. Your photos are always so stunning!
    Zip lining over the 'gator pits? Sounds scary... but fun!

  19. Anonymous1:53 PM

    I didn't know they had alligator farms. It sounds like a great place to visit. My son loves reptiles, so I know he'd love it. I'll add it to our list of places we'd like to see in the future.

  20. I'll have to check that out if I am ever in the area. I have never been to an alligator farm but have been to a crocodile farm in Australia and it was a lot of fun.

    Sean at His and Her Hobbies

  21. Great way to start this challenge!

  22. Our family travels to Kiawah Island off the coast of S.C. every year and seeing the big gators is always a highlight.

  23. Great shots - I love the look into the eyes.Not a big gator fan tho.
    Happy A to Z this month.

  24. Alligators are dinosaurs in our time, just my opinion.

  25. Thanks for the wild life show. I bet it will be fun talking about your home town all month for the A-Z; best of luck with that. And thanks for being a co-host. I'm co-hosting for IWSG today, but at the end of the day I'm finished; you keep on going the rest of the month. Wow, thanks again.

  26. Anonymous6:10 PM

    I love your pictures, Lisa! I had no idea you were from and even lived in Florida. ????? Awesome first post. Have a great day, Mon Cherie! Eva

  27. I am a little stunned by the fact there are alligator farms. Why would you need to farm alligators?

  28. Hi Lisa!

    What is it about alligators (or crocodiles as we have!). People come from all over the world to Queensland just to see Australia Zoo (Steve Irwin's baby) which is close by. There's also croc farms/tourist attractions in our far north. As for me, i keep a wide berth. Thanks for sharing about the Florida variety!

    Happy April!

    Thanks for the visit.

    Denise :-)

  29. I have never seen an alligator in real life. I've seen them on tv and they look very scary to me. I guess if you grow up in an area that has a lot of alligators they probably aren't as scary but still dangerous.
    I’m also doing the A to Z challenge, Organize Home Life on

  30. Great post. I became a Floridian in 2011 when moved from Texas to Tavares, FL. St Augustine is one of my favorite places to visit. I love it there. I saw my first alligator in the wild my 2nd day here when I visited the park on Lake Dora. It was a baby in the shallows. I love it here. I have always wanted to live some place tropical and here I am. Happy Writing, Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

  31. I chuckled at this because you made me recall when I was living in Central Florida... one day I was walking the dogs close to this jungle-y pond...

    (yes, I am a professional writer)

    ...and this HUGE, damn alligator heaves himself outta the water and starts chilling out in the sun.... and all this about 100 feet from where I trembled... er, stood...

    Of course, the stupid dog starts to charge the beast...I swear I lost some vocal chord action in the not-so-manly screams as I called the potential future-alligator dinner back to me.

    No, I am NOT traumatized by alligators :)

  32. I like seeing alligators behind glass. I wouldn't want to bump into one while out and about.

    Glad you're happy dancing Lisa! You did a great job posting.

  33. What a fun theme, Lisa! I saw my first wild alligators in Florida near Del Ray Beach at Loxahatchee. What a thrill! They looked like mostly submerged tire treads! I kept my eye on them, let me tell you! The thought of riding a zip line over an alligator pit is downright scary! LOL! Here I've been trying to work up the courage to ride Slotzilla on Fremont Street in Las Vegas. Over alligators is a whole new level of scary! Isn't it funny how we imprint with the area that we were born in and spent our early years in. Nova Scotia will always be home to me, even though I have lived in the USA and Colorado so much of my life. The Bay of Fundy is always in my heart! Have fun with the A to Z Challenge, and thanks for visiting my blog today!

  34. Nice. I think it is good not to have insecurities sometimes. Have an awesome month.

  35. Lovely post Lisa thank you! Thanks for pointing out the difference between alligators and crocodiles, HUGE critters here in South Africa! Can you imagine a buffalo and a croc battling it out in the water?

  36. What fabulous photos! You have to be pretty brave to zip line over gator pits! Thanks for being an A to Z cohost, Lisa!


  37. I didn't realize there was so much more to the alligator farm.
    ~Visiting from AtoZ

  38. Anonymous2:26 PM

    Missed it when I visited last summer, but on my to-do list. Thank you for sharing.

  39. Florida holds a special place in my heart. My younger son was born there while we were traveling. I look forward to all of your posts throughout April, especially since my knowledge of FL is limited to only a few areas.

  40. I was born in Jacksonville and my mom lives in Daytona Beach. I have been to the Alligator Farm many times and it sure has grown over the years. I have taken my kids there over the years and now we visit with my grandkids. I live in Philadelphia now so I don't get to visit as often as I would like.

  41. Absolutely beautiful pictures!


Thank you so much for commenting on my blog. I may not always be able to respond to the comments you leave, however, I appreciate you dropping by and will do my best to visit your blog as well, if you have one!