Monday, June 7, 2010

Gatorland

Terry arranged a tour with the Audubon Society to see the nesting birds in the sanctuary behind Gatorland. The tour guide who was the grandson of the founder of the place kept up a constant banter. He also kept the group constantly on the move. I finally escaped the tour and settled in to sketch this white gator. It turns out a white gator would never survive in the wild and the two gators in this compound were found together and saved when they first hatched. Sea World kept them hidden away from the public for years until they felt they were large enough for their Giant White Gator marketing campaign.
Drawing a white gator is a little easier than drawing a regular gator since all the ridges and wrinkles are easily visible. I was of course in a rush since every line I put down meant I was falling that much further behind the tour. As I was working a thunderstorm rolled in. there were loud claps of thunder and illuminating blasts of light. In the lagoon outside the larger gators rose to the surface and started to let out an unearthly bellowing noise. Pairs of gators would bellow and roll in the water. Perhaps it is some sort of rain appreciations dance. Regardless it felt like I was back in the age of the dinosaurs.
Gator land is someplace I should really look into sketching at more often. It is a real Florida treasure right in my backyard.