These photographs were all taken on the same day over a 5 hour period.
I have neglected to give them any attention lately so this is a quick series taken on Tuesday, April 4, 2017.
This first 4 foot alligator was lying trail side covered in ‘swamp stuff’. I walked right by (a few feet) and never did see him. Ellen told me a little further up the trail. Then…she forgot and almost plowed the poor guy over while she was stalking an Egret.
Alligators this size, sleeping on the trail, don’t bother you. They see us, we see them, all the time. They will jump in the water if uncomfortable. We just give each other space.
These 2 above are a little bigger and want nothing but to sleep and hunt in the marshes. Most of the marshes here connect to a river so they come and go away almost invisible. BTW, the rivers are where the really big guys hang out. No sharing a trail with them.
Here a swamp alligator is sunning on a wooden platform. Many swamps have these to allow the turtles, alligators, and birds to get warm and keep off trails and paths. This one was about 6 – 7 feet long. Decent size. Taken with a long lens of course.
Now a marsh alligator. The difference between the swamp ones in the photos above is pretty clear. This marsh guy is like a pickup truck. I don’t know what or when they eat. Most of the time they are just as above. Fine with me.
This is what we usually see. Head and shoulders.
Now the one above, about 5 feet, was special. Look just to the right of her head (click to enlarge). That’s a baby. Size is about 6 – 7 inches. There were around 10 sliding around the green duck weed. Moma made sure to stay right there, between us and the babies. Alligators are the only reptiles that stay and protect their young. For the first few days she would hiss and make aggressive motions to any people that stumbled on her. Now she just watches. Just don’t get too close.
This is a closeup of one of the babies. You can see leaves and the weeds. That indicates just how small they are.
So, this was one day out walking photographing the Herons and Egrets. These is a lot going on out there that most people never get a chance to see.