Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Picknicking with gators--an hour on the air with Beth Surdut

Not long before the onset of another hell-on-earth hurricane season, I was interviewed by Canadian radio host Lynn Thompson for her show Living On Purpose. We started with a tour of my art and conversation about the Dream Vessels Project at my classic Florida 1920s wooden bungalow, then the plan was to go paddling with the alligators. I took her to the wild and scenic Myakka river (that description is a state designation), but on that windy day, which really would have been a challenge for a novice paddler, the actuality of getting in the canoe turned out to be beyond her comfort zone. So I took her around on foot to favorite spots to see birds and reptiles, snouts and tails.
As I approached the final put-in by car, giving her the fish-or-cut-bait speech in case she just might want to splash the boat in an hour before sunset, we saw a gator on land next to a picnic table being used as a perch by five vultures, while a few stood around on the ground.
Lynn asked me if the gator was alive. When I said yes, she started to get out of the car asking, "This is safe, isn't it?" and I responded, "You don't see me getting out, do you?"
If you've read my blog (scroll down for Bloodsuckered, Darwin Should See This, Gator Girl and the Prehistorics) you know I'm more comfortable surrounded by 14 alligators when I'm in a boat and they're in the water, so I let her go first. Do listen to the adventure, a luxurious and engaging hour of radio.

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