Just like what side of the road you drive on, there are certain rules. Unwritten obviously, but all the same there is a quiet agreement between Alligators and photographers.
It’s really simple. Alligator, on the water side bank, easy access to slip away when uncomfortable. Photographer, far side of the trails away from Alligator on other side. And hey, it sounds strange if you are not out there but it works fine.
Until somebody flexes a little muscle. Here is an example…
I came down the trail (above) and found this local sleeping in a sun spot. You can see the bank and swamp water behind him. We glanced at each and I moved on.
But Ha !!! I heard him when I walked away and looked back. First, he is a little bigger than a normal trail Gator. But he waited for me to go by and walked right up the middle to a better sun spot.
Flopped right down, in the middle, and out cold. The ‘Status Quo’ was broken.
I was going the other direction so keeping the peace I just went my way.
This (above) is what I find an hour later when heading back out. Important item is my car on the other side of him, down the trail.
Please notice how he is totally comfortable, he even looked at me while stretching his legs out. He can’t move in this position!
So the moment was here.
I knelt down, spoke (no really, no one was around), shot this closeup, and stepped over his tail. He actually closed his eyes and went back to sleep.
I guess I showed him.
(I think he will move out with the other big guys soon, I hope)