Gainesville is well known for it's champion "Gators" football team. The city has a lesser known Gator lair known as the Sweetwater Wetlands Park. I stopped by there recently while enroute to another photoshoot looking for eagles. There were indeed a good number of real Gators present, but more to my interests, I saw a nice variety of marshland birds and ducks. I also met my favorite Hollywood actor, Jack Nicholson. Yes, it is true he has come out of retirement.
Per the website information, “Sweetwater Wetlands Park is a great place to connect with nature. The park, which consists of more than 125 acres of wetlands and ponds, was created to improve the water quality of wetlands in nearby Paynes Prarie and the Floridan Aquifer”. At the park you can (and I did) walk 3.5 miles of crushed gravel trails, and boardwalks. Unfortunately my arm is now so sore from the hike that I can barely push the Doohickey. There are also occasional special events guided by park personnel. A fellow photograher, Chris Billman, and I had a great time there. I helped him avoid stepping on several snakes. We watched a Great Blue Heron on a piling trying to lift off with a moss covered stick. It pulled and pulled to no avail. The stick was connected to a large string of moss. Unfortunately. the Heron didn’t realize he was standing on the other end of the moss rope and thus could not figure out how to take off with it.
I have been wanting a picture of my favorite actor Jack Nicholson. I was pleased to see him sitting on one of the boardwalk rails. He looked at me and smiled and gave me his autograph. Really. I have the picture to prove it. Don't believe me? You want the truth? YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!