In the Distance, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 5"x7"
The light has been clear and lovly in the Everglades with weather perfect for humans. We've had no rain for a while, and the Everglades animals are beginning to go into survival mode. Alligators will dig water holes using snout and tail, and other animals will gather to share the water.
There are some natural sloughs, channels that will retain water throughout the dry season, and manmade construction has made other deepwater passages. In these areas the alligators can gather without doing the work of excavation.
The corner of Turner River Road, off US 41 is one such area. When I first came to Florida, almost 20 years ago, only one or two gators used this location during the dry season. As the area developed, the channel was deepened. Now, as the season progresses, more and more gators gather at this manmade water hole. Today it's easy to see multiple gators there.
Without the alligator holes throughout the Everglades, other animals may have to find new methods to find the water they need to survive. It's too soon to know if the lack of alligator holes will become a serious problem to some species, but scientists are beginning to be concerned about the changes. You can learn more about alligator holes from the Croc Doc.