We’re in a Gator Hole!

An exciting excerpt from Louis Pendleton’s 1895 book, ​In the Okefenokee…

American Alligator submerged in a ‘gator hole, Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia. March 5, 20217 ©www.williamwisephoto.com

Accordingly, as soon as they were opposite another island, Joe struck out toward it through the bonnets and sedge. In this way they came presently into a little round open pool about a hundred feet in diameter, heedless of several dark floating objects a short distance ahead. Suddenly the water about them became curiously agitated, and with a cry of horror Joe looked toward Charley. “Jump up on the log!” he said. “We’re in a ‘gator hole!” Neither of them could afterward have told how they did it; but almost in a moment, both stood on a log balancing themselves with their long poles, which were thrust down to the bottom, the water being only about seven feet in depth. Under their weight the log sank so low that it was almost entirely submerged, and the position of the two boys was little improved, supposing they were to be attacked.

The pool now seemed alive with alligators, large and small, for fifty feet around; and the boys were greatly terrified, although the huge scaly creatures still lay quiet on the water or swam lazily about, gazing at the intruders with their black, lusterless eyes. “They’re going to eat us up!” gasped poor Charley, hardly able to maintain his upright position. “Don’t be afraid,” said Joe, in a low voice, although desperately afraid himself. “They don’t look as if they want to hurt us. See how quiet they are.” He then suggested that they pole the log out of its dangerous neighborhood, and this they did very slowly and cautiously, lifting their long sticks halfway out of the water and guardedly thrusting them to the bottom again . Although they passed within a few inches of some of the reptiles in the course of their retreat, the latter were not roused from their sleepy indifference, and permitted an easy prey to escape them.

Pendleton, Louis. In the Okefenokee: A Story of War Time and the Great Georgia Swamp. United States, Roberts Brothers, 1895. Page 127

iNaturalist observation: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/34153835

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