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Alligator Hatchlings

There is so much information about alligators, but not much about baby alligators, also known as Hatchlings. Breeding season for alligators is May and June.  They start building nest in late June and July.  The nest can be 7 to 10 wide and 2 to 3 ft tall.  They lay between 35-50 eggs, some upto 90, and cover them up.   There is a 65 day incubation time frame until the little guys start to hatch out with a little eye tooth at the tip of their mouth.  It later falls off.  They will also start "chirping" for moms help to get out, where she will dip up the dirt on top of them and sometimes she will pick them up in her mouth to get them into the water. The depth and temperature determine the sex of the hatchlings.   Female gators is below 82.4 degrees and male gators are 91.4 degrees or above.    If the eggs are in the middle, 87.8 degrees or so, they will be a mix of both male and female.   Believe it or not, alligator eggs are soft, not hard like chicken eggs. Hatchling are tiny when born, only between 6 and 7 inches long, so they stay very close to mom.  A female alligator will only mate once a year but can have up to 3 years worth of babies (called a "pod") around her, but only concern is for her new offspring.   She is only there for protection though, she doesn't provide their food. When the Hatchlings get to about 4 years old, they venture out on their own.  Alligators reproduce or multiply when they mature.  This takes place when they are about 7 to 12 years old....

Makinson Island

Makinson Island

If you have some time, you need to take a trip out to Makinson Island.   I had the pleasure of spending some time out there recently and was just amazed at the surroundings.   The huge oak trees, picnic area, nice restrooms, walking trails, gazebo and even campsites.   This 132 acre island is located in Lake Tohopekaliga, pronounced "toe-hoe-pea-kah-lie-gah", and you have to find your own way out there, but it's worth the trip. Some of the local history of the island includes Emathla, a 19th-century Seminole chief who made it his home, and his son Coacoochee, one of the great chiefs in Florida history and born on the island in 1807.   Its location at the mouth of Shingle Creek, which flows south from Orlando.  Dense growth protects the shoreline and there is a small dock and beach to put your boat. Makinson Island was purchased by the state back in 1999 but wasn't turned over to Osceola County until 2001, where is was opened up to the public.   At one time a lot of exotic animals were brought to the island, most were removed but there are still a few longhorn sheep, goats, hogs and wild deer left.  There is also plenty of  birds of all typed that have make this island home. The family that the island was named after also owns a hardware store in downtown Kissimmee called Makinson Hardware, be sure to stop in and say hello to Elaine and John Makinson.    ...

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New Adventures With Marsh Landing

Some of you might be wondering how the airboat days are going.  I know, its been awhile. For starters, we have a wonderful office now here at our departure location, and we enjoy decorating it up for the different seasons.   The county park we are in has picnic table, playground,  racquetball and tennis courts and even a dog park.   We have hats, t-shirts, sunglasses, gator heads and so much more.    We also made a new little squirrel friend that seems you enjoy hanging out on our front porch. Now with our boats...