Gatorland http://www.gatorland.com/ is one of the old florida roadside attractions. A week ago a fire destroyed the gift shop, where you enter the attractions through the jaws of the giant gator head. They plan to get it fixed and reopen soon. Florida attractions don't die, they just burn down, which seems to be what happens to them. This place I have many fond memories when I was a kid, holding the indigo snake for Mom & Dad's camera. I hope they can rebuild and remain as the famous attraction on south OBT.
We had some great critter sightings in the park this weekend. A florida Panther was seen in the campground several times by different campers and park volunteers. Enough descriptions were given that it was indeed a panther.
We have had panther sightings in the park before, but this one was seen and confirmed by several people. It was not a bobcat, that is for sure. Strange thing was that everyone said it was gray colored. I am told that the panthers do have a gray coloration phase.
One night a few months ago I had something walking on top of my house; my house in the hammock with the tin roof. I didn't go out and find out what it was. It was big, and sounded bigger than a raccoon. I think it may have been a panther. Now that a panther has been seen within a few hundred yards of my house, and in the same hammock, then it probably was a panther. Exciting!
Then this afternoon, two of the rangers saw a Big Cypress Fox Squirrel in the picnic area (also known as the Mangrove Fox Squirrel.) This is a rare sub-species of fox squirrel that is only found in this area of SW Florida.
Saturday morning I went to the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum for the annual Indian Arts & Crafts fair. It was well worth the trip. I highly recommend it for next year.
Don't have time to talk anymore, so that is it for today.