The next two posts will feature photos from my trip along the Santa Fe River.   The ubiquitous alligator-warning sign spied once again, this time in O’Leno State Park.  So frequent are these signs in Florida that I’ve come to study and differentiate the waters along which they are posted.  In O’Leno State Park, a medium-sized swimming platform bobs above very dark water; one cannot see the bottom or the sides of the river, and, if swimming, one could additionally not see the top.  This violates Gator Safety Rule #1, which is how to avoid becoming alligator Crunch ‘n Munch.  The O’Leno sign is a bit more elaborate than some others; unlike in Australia there is no uniform or internationally understood warning sign.  Here, you are requested to report “approaching alligators” (which you may not see in the first place, considering the murky water) to a lifeguard or to a park ranger.  Also, it’s important to note that the swimming area is not fenced off as it is in some other parks.  Above:  This marvelous bridge was built by the CCC during the 1930s.  Although it may look safer to cross the river using the bridge, a maze of wasps buzzed around the railings, leaving the visitor to ponder the nature and degree of acceptable risk.

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