Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Alligators In Lake Norman?


This post could have been entitled "Accuracy In Writing?" but the idea of the feared prehistoric snaggle-toothed beast lurking in our lake is far more entertaining than accuracy, like so much of what we latch onto in media.

There's an online video, set to menacing music, that claims to be taken on Lake Norman and has my friend, who will be visiting from Vermont, afraid to come swim. Even though LKN, as it's affectionately called, draws millions of tourists every year, is home to wealthy celebrities, hosts national fishing tournaments and wakeboard competitions and more, my northern friends sometimes have to be persuaded to come jump on in.

I can already hear the locals laughing, but for those who aren't in the know, the habitat of alligators in North Carolina is only near the coast--see map, above. LKN is located in the piedmont region of the state, just to the left of the map's big red "NC".

As readers of The Wooded Path know, I like to be accurate in my descriptions of the region, especially when it comes to its wildlife and natural features. Even in fiction, just as other Oak Tree Press authors take you to historic Central California or the present day coast...the border between Texas and Mexico...Beirut...Hawaii...Colorado... the NC coast...I am careful to provide an authentic escape to my real-life setting. Don't we all appreciate an authentic experience?

So in my stories you'll never read of an alligator in this lake. But you might read about any of the other creatures that really do swim in its waters: its turtles, bass, bluegill...even the ugly alligator gar which is a long-snout fish we see in the shallow coves when we paddle board.

If any of you can share about an interesting sighting on Lake Norman, I'd love to add to my notes. And if you go by the YouTube alias of Kaptain Ahaab, I'd especially like to hear from you. (I bet he has quite the entertaining sense of humor.)

10 comments:

John M. Wills said...

That's good news, but stay away from the lakes in Disney.

jrlindermuth said...

Interesting, Nancy. Fear can feed on the slightest morsels sometimes. Still, the idea of alligators migrating beyond their normal range is not beyond possibility. As food supply and habitat is gobbled up by greedy mankind, many animals are now being found in areas they formally didn't inhabit. For instance, here in Pennsylvania we now have coyotes, which were never here before, and bears and deer sometimes wander our city streets.

Nancy LiPetri said...

Yes, JW, the Disney tragedy certainly feeds the fear. It'll be hard not to feel nervous when I get down to FL again. And so true, JL--I found the map with an article about the extending range, so was glad to learn the piedmont is still well beyond sightings. We get colder temperatures and don't have the swamps and marshes they do over at the coast.

amreade said...

I feel for your friend from Vermont. When I was learning to water ski on the St. Lawrence River about a thousand years ago, I somehow got it into my head that freshwater sharks were lurking in the water below me, just waiting for me to take a spill. And when I did, I swam like the wind to meet the boat coming around for me. And yet... I didn't stop water skiing. I don't know what that says about me! Great post. Be careful out there!

JF said...

Amreade,
That unfounded belief undoubtedly gave you motivation to stay upright on those skies!! Fear can produce surprising results!

amreade said...

JF, you're so right. If it weren't for the imaginary sharks, I probably wouldn't know how to water ski today!

Nancy LiPetri said...

Maybe that's why I have never learned to ski, Amy. But those gar fish sure motivate me to keep my balance on the paddle board!

amreade said...

I have never seen a gar fish and I'm pretty sure I don't want to. :)

Jackie Taylor Zortman said...

What an interesting post, Nancy. Apparently, we all have fearful things (or are reputed to have them) where we live. We have the bears and mountain lions, as you know. I agree with Amy regarding the gar fish. I love your latest profile picture, by the way. Great article!

Chris Gebhardt said...

I've seen alligators in Norman before. Usually released as pets and die come winter. But if one found the Marshall steam station or Duke nuclear plant. I wouldn't be shocked if it survived winter. Water temps leaving those plants are in the 70's in winter. Just something to think about next time you or I take a dip. Very good article.