Wild times at the Loxahatchee NWR

I promised the boys I’d take them fishing out at the refuge Labor Day Sunday. So the whole family got up (cheerfully!) before the dawn, coffee and fishing gear ready to roll. Even with our surprising alacrity, it turned out we weren’t as early as we needed to be for the best fishing, but we were the first fisherpeople on the pier. That prompted a visit from old Jenny, the three-legged gator:

Jenny the gator comes to check us out. Loxahatchee NWR, September 3, 2017.

She has her tail out of the water because she’s a bit hepped up; another gator is horning in on her territory. That actually turned out to be kind of exciting—we got to hear some gator grunting and see a bit of a tussle:

Jenny doesn’t like what she sees. A tussle ensues. Loxahatchee NWR, September 3, 2017.

Who knows; maybe a similar, earlier episode caused a heart attack in this poor least bittern we found floating near the pier?

Least Bittern floating in the shallows by the fishing pier. September 3, 2017.

After the gator tussle, the boys were eager to show off the skills they’d learned at this summer’s weeklong fishing camp in Boca. Unfortunately, those skills didn’t include untangling fishing line snarls, baiting one’s own hook, and so on, so dad the photographer had a rod and reel in his hands at least as often as a camera.

Dad helping Daniel cast. Photo by Marcella Munson.

And by the look on his face, you can see how thrilled he is about that:

Dad the expert sure seems to be having fun releasing Eric’s fish… Photo by Marcella Munson.

But at least Eric caught a fish fairly soon after we’d arrived, which certainly cheered everyone up!

Eric caught a fish! Photo by Marcella Munson.

Shortly thereafter, the sun got higher in the sky and the fish became much less aggressive, so it was a long time between strikes. That enabled Daniel to goof around a bit:

The fish aren’t biting, so Daniel finds something to do. Photo by Marcella Munson.

The slow times also enabled me to point the camera at a few dragonflies:

So that was nice. Still, it’s early September in south Florida, so as you might expect, it got pretty hot, pretty quick. We hightailed it for home after just a couple of hours.

Related Images: