Posted by: Loren Coleman on March 12th, 2008
My search for Pinky continues. But I am becoming convinced from my exploration of the central St. Johns River area that Pinky reports are a probable event of the recent past, and mostly a foggy memory, at best. No current knowledge of these animals or cryptids is contemporarily apparent.
The draft of the river in this area of central Florida is not supportive of ocean life such as dolphins, and other than the manatees that need to find warm springs in the cold season, it seems hard to imagine marine Sea Serpents or alleged living dinosaurs visiting “American’s Nile.”
Reports of bipedal dinosaurs are intriguing, but the sightings from 1950s-1970s feel more and more out-of-character for the area. Still, I am left with the question, why living dinosaur reports here? Why the witness descriptions, one of which compared the animal with a “dragon”?
I have been able to observe, as noted previously, close-up encounters (less than two feet away) with manatees, and one young specimen of raccoon. (By the way, one inquiry of mine regarding the other cryptid hereabouts, the Skunk Ape, was greeted with, “You can find out about them on the Internet.” LOL.)
Long-nose gar are all around too, as well as the “alligator buffets” lining the tree trunks out into the water (the local name for a group of turtles sunning themselves).
Alligators are very visible early in the day, and I’ve seen males and females, with the latter sometimes with a dozen 2007 yearlings. Also, the theory that females chase off their young from previous years is incorrect based on observations of two separate female alligators and their “families.” Both still were guarding hatchlings from 2007, 2006, and 2005. Reptile textbooks have to be revised regarding that common myth.
I saw one great blue heron killing and struggling with a large black snake, although it was difficult to identify what snake species it was, due to the backlighting. One other big snake seen near the boat, with broad red bands that were a little smaller than the areas of black on the body will have to wait for me to look at my snake field guides upon my return to Maine. I heard it called a “broad-banded snake” but that was too general a name for me to link it to a known species.
Birds that I have seen and identified (with second/third/fourth confirmations from my human and field guides) include brown pelican, anhinga, American bittern, great blue heron, great (or common) egret, snowy egret, little blue heron, turkey, tricolored heron (formerly called the Louisiana heron), green heron, yellow-crowned heron, limpkin, pileated woodpecker (no sightings of ivory-billed woodpecker), downy woodpecker, white ibis, wood stock, wood duck, black vulture, turkey vulture, osprey, red-tailed hawk, red-shoulder hawk, American coot, purple gallinule, common moorhen, and boat-tailed grackle. I was lucky enough to also see my first sandhill cranes in the wild (often said to be the source of the Mothman reports) but they have not been at the St. Johns River, but seen feeding along canals and smaller waterways.
I guess all my visuals of dinosaurs on this journey will have to be recalled as ones of the feathered kind.
Still, this quest is enlightening.