So... an immediate caution. REPTILE ALERT!!!! There will be a few photos I am placing at the very END of this post that may be unsettling to those who have issue with reptiles without legs. I will caution you again but I cannot control how much of this post appears as you scroll. It is up to you now!
On our last day at Hodges Gardens, we decided to do a little more fishing. We had wet a line or two the day before but with no success. It had been a VERY long time since I had been fishing (we figured out August 22, 1995!) so I was hopeful to catch at least one! The spousal-unit has very kindly been teaching me to fly-fish and we have done a little practicing a few times but it has been more practice than fish-catching. :) No luck at the small pond called Blue Hole which I have posted about previously. You can visit that post here.
We went to a couple of spots but our success was at the last one of the day (of course!). Here is where we were:
There was no one else there so we were able to split up and put some distance between us. I opted to fish off of a small barge-like craft tied to the shore. The spousal unit was fishing from the little pavilion you see above.
He was the first to pull off a catch. Very nice little perch. It was "game-on!"
Not to be outdone, I felt a tug a few minutes later. The spousal-unit had released his lovely fish back into the lake and made his way over toward me as I reeled in my catch!
We were now tied at one-to-one. That was the end of my competition, sad to say. But I didn't know it at that moment.
I removed the fish from my line and sent it on its way to tell its friends to drop by and grab my lure! As the spousal-unit began making his way back to his spot, I called out to him to stop! I had cast out as he headed away and immediately had another fish on! I honestly thought it might be the same little perch again since it had just been released. It wasn't. As I reeled it in, I saw a lovely little bass at the end of my line. It was small but VERY feisty and fighting hard the whole way in. I began to lift it out of the water... and it simply slipped itself off of my hook and swam away!!! Oh NO! I told the spousal-unit, who was standing just behind me, to cast his lure out there. He chuckled at me but did it anyway. Guess what?!? Yep. Who would have ever believed it (except for those of us who have fished since we were little kids!)? He immediately got a strike and reeled in this cutie... which, by the way, was IDENTICAL to the little bass that had just snuck away from me! I am not kidding.
After we had a good laugh about all that, we continued fishing for a while. We decided to pack it in and head to the casa. The spousal-unit left his line hanging over the edge of the pavilion while we packed up my rod & reel. When he picked his back up to reel it in, he discovered an itty-bitty "Stealth Perch" had taken his lure!! That little critter was so light, it hadn't even made the rod move!! The rod is on the shelf behind the fish. We captured a photo before sending it back to the depths. Too funny!!
REPTILE ALERT!! SAY GOODBYE NOW IF YOU DON'T WANT TO SEE THEM.
As we were fishing from the pavilion, which was fairly high above the water, I noticed movement between an island a good distance away from us and the shore upon which our pavilion stood. I watched it for a moment then immediately recognized it was one of my least favorite reptiles... the Water Moccasin or Cottonmouth. I learned to respect these snakes at a very young age. They are venomous, stealthy, and everywhere there is water in the south! I pointed it out to the spousal-unit and we watched it swim quietly and quickly to our side, disappear into the thick vegetation at water's edge, then crawl slowly up onto the shore right beside our pavilion among the tarot plants. Wow. I leaned over the pavilion wall and watched the whole dance. I took several photos including a zoomed-in head shot (below). It crawled around a bit but apparently decided the "grass was greener" elsewhere, slithering back into the water and heading away. We guesstimated the length of this specimen to be at least 5'. My photo (2nd one below) was taken wide but the critter's length obviously turned the photo 90 degrees! Sorry it will be hard to view but I want you to try to grasp the length.
Sorry that one didn't show up the way it was taken. I was actually leaning over, looking down the white rock wall that is now to the right of the photo, taking the shot.
At any rate... that concludes our Hodges Gardens tour! Hope you found some portion of the tour fun, informative, educational, interesting... ???
Until next post...