Wildlife Week: In Which I Encounter Wildlife Where It's Not Supposed to Be Today's Post: You Will Not Believe Your Eyes!
Oh, man, I still can’t believe it. I thought it was a sonic boom. You know, you live in Florida you get used to hearing that twin boom, with the space shuttle landing and all, but I didn’t have time to reason it out before I heard the next one. The huge cypress tree I stood by shook; bushes rattled nearby, and squirrels fell off branches all around me. Boom! Another tremor shot up my legs from the ground.
What the . . .
I screamed but no sound came out. The camera fell from my hands. The dinosaur waded through the river, craning his neck to and fro. I knew what he was after. I knew what he wanted. And I remembered what Church Lady and Christy Lenzi told me. I grabbed my camera and ran into the muck.
“Right here!” I yelled. I twisted my watch and directed a sun beam into his eyes.
He stopped. Without moving his head, he slid his eye and looked straight at me.
“Yeah, that’s right,” I yelled, thumping my chest. “Grade A Beef! Come on!” I flicked my hand like Keanu Reeves. “Come on!” My heart was almost busting through my chest, but I repeated my mantra: I must enter the animal’s space, and he mine. This was the photo op of a lifetime.
He swooped his neck down and faced me. My heart pounded so hard it was breaking my ribs. The dinosaur smelled like an old aquarium. His nostrils were each as big as boulders. This was it—my final moment. I raised the camera. Then, like a wine connoisseur, he sniffed me, almost ripping the hair off my head.
He swung back up and lumbered through the river. About twenty yards down, he stopped and nibbled off some treetops.
Ah, brontosaurus. I nodded to myself. The friendly vegan. I ran through the trees and fired off this shot before he disappeared.
I’ve been to the local university, the veterinarians, and the science museum. They all think my husband Photoshopped the dinosaur into the picture. “But look at the reflection in the water!” I argued. “Look at the scale!” I tried to convince them to bring equipment and look for footprints in the riverbed, but they said words like mental and loony.
No one believed me. One guy even showed me how he Photoshopped himself into a picture with Lindsay Lohan. But the light in the photo reflected differently on him than on Lindsay. His picture’s obviously a fake.
I’ve been back to the river; everything looks the same. There’s no trace of the dinosaur, no proof that he was ever there. Nothing.
Except for this picture.