Mobile, AL The American alligator does not live in saltwater but does live in the bayous of Mississippi. Even though it was a gray, overcast day and not likely to encourage gators to sun themselves on the banks (making for a highly visible alligator), Alligator Hunter Jim decided we needed to try to find one. Off we went. We drove to a suitable place on the coast, ended up turning around twice, and finally located a likely swamp area. So far our search had been conducted in a nice, comfortable car. Now we got out and braved the elements. We do not know what the nasty little things are but we were swarmed with thousands of annoying little flying bugs. Nonetheless we prevailed and scanned the horizon with binoculars. Can you believe it! We were rewarded by actually finding a gator – only his head, of course because he was quite comfortable IN the water and away from those nasty flying things!
We spent the rest of the day at Bellingrath Gardens. The 65-acre gardens include a bridal garden, a conservatory, a great lawn, a nature walk, an Oriental garden, a rose garden, a chapel, the Mermaid Pool, Mirror Lake, an observation tower, and a river pavilion. The garden pathways are flagstone that had been obtained from the old city sidewalks in Mobile, where they had been in place since arriving as ballast in sailing vessels collecting loads of cotton for the mills in England. Walter Bellingrath was a prosperous local Coca-Cola bottler in the early decades of the twentieth century. He and his wife created these stunningly beautiful gardens. The azaleas were in their prime. What color!