I found this monster big palmetto bug* (American cockroach) in the bath after an intense storm. I think it must of crawled up through the plughole and was already dying. A similar thing happened several months ago in the middle of Winter. I cannot believe how big the insect life gets in Florida! Still, I would rather have a big palmetto bug to deal with rather than a snake or a giant spider! I keep seeing snakes when I go running, but I never have my camera with me, so have not got any photos yet.
My love affair with water dwelling reptiles continues. I managed to snap (no pun intended!) two baby alligators last weekend when we visited Lake Alice, Gainesville, Florida.
When they are born, the baby alligators are stripy and it takes some time before they lose their markings. The one below is old enough to be independent but you can still see its markings. It is the tannin in the water from the trees that stains the alligators dark grey as they get older.
At one point, a large old turtle crawled out of the water and sat not far from the baby alligator. It was a bizarre sight as turtles are one of the main foods that alligators eat (the reason that an alligator’s bite is so powerful, far stronger than a crocodile’s, is so that he can crack open turtle shells). For a moment it looked like a blood bath might take place, but I guess the old turtle in this case considered himself to be too big to be bothered by a baby alligator. I am glad he was right!
*I have since discovered that this bug isn't actually a palmetto (although many people mistakenly call them that here in Florida)! It is just a very big American cockroach!