Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Travels with Trollie

Gators can only wish they were as attractive as Trollie.

Trollie loves elaborate desserts!

He has his eye on high class bling available in downtown Naples.

You might not have guessed that he is a friend to all children.

Soak him in vinegar for three days and he might soften up a bit.

Perhaps he could use a protector.  Yes, this is all downtown Naples.

Um. some coffee just isn't drinkable.

"Poor gator!", my wife replied upon receiving a text with this image.

He looks right at home in the Big Cypress Preserve.

Strangler figs  are pretty tricky.
Please excuse the margins of Typecast Part 2.  In true Florida style, it has more than a few hanging chads.
Yes, the heading should read "Swamp Lair" as opposed to "Swap Lair".  This is one of the joys of typecasting.  This one comes courtesy of the Royal Futura 800.  Saying it is cursive would be redundant if it weren't for the existence of search engines.

So Part 2 of the typecast sounded a bit extreme.  I think the proprietor was in the process of selling the handgun in question to a fellow enthusiast.  Sure, this was happening less than 100 feet away from a busy state highway that passes through the Everglades National Park.  The right to bear arms does not take a break for traffic; not in this part of America anyway.

I have to say that it was an impressive gun.  On the first loud and low pitched shot, I thought it might have been a muzzle loader.  Nope, just Dirty Harry grade large caliber fun!

I regret not capturing an image of the fake tourist family surrounding the 40 foot panther but I suspected the shooter was not the type that liked having his picture taken by strangers.  Here is the really strange part:  I have driven this road roughly a dozen times and only now noticed these impressive sculptures.  I do a lot of photography and am pretty observant.  If I did not have photographic evidence of Trollie and the Skunk Ape, I might have been concerned about my sanity.

It occurred to me later that covering a giant panther with camouflage netting overnight is a practical approach.  It's a pretty valuable piece of property that needs protection from aerial observation what with all those UFOs and U.N. black helicopters cruising above the swamps.

Trollie and the roadside Skunk Ape.  You only think your eyes are playing tricks on you.

Imagine yourself inside this store and taking this photo when the gunfire starts.  Yeah, it was a surreal experience, but I try not to be an average tourist.  Honestly, it didn't freak me out since I was in new experience mode.  I would have been more concerned in an urban setting.

A haven for outdoors types and rugged individuals.  This is on the loop road to the south of Tamiami Trail.

 I don't want to leave a bad impression, so here is the other real Florida.  The guided swamp walk through a slough in the Fakahatchee Strand was awesome!  Except for the dried out pools, this is all part a really wide and shallow running river.  The water is clear and cold with nary a gator or venomous snake to be seen.  In the deeper water the mosquitoes were surprisingly scarce.  I still put on 100% DEET to be on the safe side.

Merry Christmas from all of us!


  1. Well, that sounds like lots of adventures for Trollie...

  2. Seems you had a great trip. Glad you enjoyed it. Depending on the time of year Florida can be a great place to visit. Sometimes our winters get a bit cold, more line Virgina and other times (like so far this year) very temperate. Alligators are neat, but can be a pain, they tend to invite themselves into any building with an opening. We usually need to chase them out of our shop at work a few times each summer. Glad trollie had fun.

  3. What an amazingly well-traveled troll! I think he should visit Europe next. Or Africa.

  4. Trollie is well traveled! When he isn't picking fights with the natives he is also a great traveling companion.

    I started mapping out my known travel schedule for 2012. Nothing outside of the U.S., but it appears that San Francisco (Greenbuild) and NYC (building preservation conference) are on the list with many less dramatic locations.


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