Temperatures are up, bugs are out and, in the animal kingdom, hormones are raging.
This time of year, Joe Maffo of Critter Management typically scurries across the Lowcountry to round up alligators that are on the move and on the make. Brutish bulls rough up their rivals — and even their potential mates — in a relentless drive to breed.
Recently, Maffo brought three gators by the newsroom. One had been snared by a hook he intended for a larger gator that was scaring the bejeebers out of residents of a local gated community. (Maffo confided that he thinks the animal likely is not aggressive toward people, just big and scary to look at.)
Come to think of it, his visit got me feeling a little frisky, too.
I’ve been considering a new blog at islandpacket.com and beaufortgazette.com to showcase the many wild wonders that abound in the Lowcountry. The video below, taken from Maffo's newsroom visit May 9, seems like a good way to kick things off.
If you go to this new blog’s landing page, you’ll see that I’ve done some corralling of my own. I’ve rounded up some previously published stories about Lowcountry nature — and, sometimes, humans' interaction with Lowcountry nature — and put them in a convenient package. Untamed Lowcountry will work a bit differently than my other blog on this site, Inside Pages, in that I'll not only write regular, full-length posts, I'll also act as curator of other interesting content posted to this site and elsewhere around the Internet.
Untamed Lowcountry also will give me a chance to indulge one of my hobbies -- photography, particularly landscape and nature photography. I'll be posting some of my work here. I'll also be soliciting some of yours, because judging by the submissions to our Your Photos, Your Life feature, nature photography apparently is an interest I share with many of you. Your photos, videos and stories will be welcomed here, too. Just email me anything you would like me to consider for publication to firstname.lastname@example.org. If the response is good, I'll conduct occasional photo contests to keep things interesting. (One note: Untamed Lowcountry will not be ostensibly about hunting and fishing, so you can continue to send those photos to Your Photos, Your Life.)
If you like what you've read so far, I encourage you to bookmark the landing page or subscribe to this blog’s RSS feed. And be sure to check back in coming days for information about the town of Port Royal's recent celebration at its Cypress Wetlands, the LowCountry Institute's master naturalist program and migratory species that are starting to move into our area.
In the meantime, here’s a look at some of the alligators Maffo recently corralled. They'll be relocated to a place where they will be unmolested and pose no threat to humans, Maffo said.