This past week featured Rusty and his sleepover buddies sharing stories about cryptids (the Yeti, Loch Ness Monster, Benny Hill, etc.). Rusty is so enamored over his own cryptid creature (“Wilbur, The Seaside Specter”) that he pledges to hunt it down when he and his family arrive for a vacation in Oregon (which is where the “Seaside Specter Guy” conveniently haunts the coastline). We don’t know yet why Mark has an itch to go to Portland, but with this past week of strips devoted to the lad, it seems we are getting prepped for another Rusty Adventure! Now, do you think he will get another female friend (like Mara) to help with his investigation? Before you submit your response, take a moment to love today’s educational nature strip!
It appears that the title panel is composed of “alligator hearts”. Given the theme, it makes sense. I’m thinking this is not the kind of alligator story we would normally see in a Mark Trail Sunday strip; and that’s a good thing. And it is informative. Not that I didn’t think gators mated, but I did not know the details. I think I missed that episode of “Nature” on public television. But I’m still not certain how gators culminate their mating: Missionary position? Flatiron? Doggie?
I did some simple-minded searches and found loads of examples of alligators crossing yards, pools, neighborhood streets, golf courses, etc. All quite common sites, especially down in the southeastern states. One gator crossing a golf course in Naples, Florida was at least 15 feet long and walking on all fours, not dragging his stomach along the green! It was a mini–Jurassic Park in action! Yet another reason why I will never move to Florida. I don’t support random shooting or hunting gators for sport, either. They have a right to live. But NIMBY! So, Mark’s point is well taken: We have expanded into their world and should not be surprised to see them strolling down our Main Street. The underlying Sunday story here is human encroachment into the few remaining wildlife preserves in our world, such as the Everglades, the Bayou, and the Amazonian rainforest.