Monday, May 15, 2006

Florida Alligator Attacks

Living in Florida can be hazardous to your health. There have been three fatal alligator attacks in the past few weeks.

Go near the zillions of canals and retention ponds and risk alligator attack. (Homes have to be built up on mounds here and buildings like stores, the place I work, etc., have to create a drainage area, usually called a retention pond, to make up for area taken by the building.) The retention ponds look nice but soon attract all sorts of critters, some beautiful, some dangerous. If you remember, a few weeks ago, the company I work for sent out an alligator warning email (click link) to all employees in the Melbourne, Florida area. There are all kinds of drainage canals in this part of Florida to handle rain runoff from rain since building on land reduces area for rain to soak in.

Go in the ocean and you risk shark attack.

The odds of having one of these attacks is like trying to win the lottery (in a twisted way of thinking), but it's still scary to think about.

I grew up in Louisiana and when we went swimming in bayous and lakes we always had to check the area for leeches, snakes (water moccasins), and gators. It COMPLETELY creeps me out now to think of the places we went swimming when I grew up. I wouldn't swim in those places now for money. I guess I've gotten chicken as I've gotten older.

Even 10 years ago when I was back in Louisiana working on my engineering degree at La Tech in Ruston, when we would try to go swimming in the swimming pool that my in-laws had in Monroe, you had to walk around the pool and look to the bottom all the way around before getting in or letting the kids get in. We had to rid the pool of snapping turtles, opossums, snakes, and other critters at different times. And the pool was in a fenced yard.

Swimming in my tiny backyard pool is about as adventurous as I want to get right now.

As Roseanne Roseanna Danna would say, "It just goes to show you, Jane. If it's not one thing, it's another, BUT IT'S ALWAYS SOMETHING."

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