This must be the best spot in town. They’re lined up and waiting.
A photo walk down a dike trail here.
This was a day that started out hot, sunny, and slow. As usual the Alligators gave me some subjects.
Below is looking down the side of a dike, on the left, that separates two large marshes. Each being hundreds of acres, and no count of how many Alligators. This is also the domain of the bigger Alligators, smaller ones stay out further since they are not safe here.
You can walk the left side dike until the trail leads into the far woods. It can be tricky since the Alligators do cross, grass has bugs, and ‘other critters’.
Above (click to enlarge) you can see multiple gators out in the open, both in the water and on the banks. Note; while proofing I enlarged and then zoomed around. Found 4 more,
Part of the dike was clear and I could see down the trail so I walked on down, Ellen watching and shooting on the other side.
I wanted something to photograph so I came up with a plan; walk halfway down and take a single photograph of each Alligator that I could. Some might not be in the clear, those I skipped. Shooting a single image of each gives an idea of just how many you meet along the way. Like the first one above.
Above was still at the very beginning. Look past the big guy sleeping and you can the spot I took the Dike photograph from.
Next this one slipped off the bank into the water towards me (and the deeper canal).
Some will completely ignore me, others like this one wonder why I’m there, and the most interesting…panic because I scared them. They ‘belly flop’ into the water for safety. An 800 pound splash is loud.
This one above was swimming past but spotted me and came to a slow stop. I think he was originally heading for the dike I was standing on. They can wait for a person to go by and then quickly climb over the dike down to the second marsh on the other side.
Looking down the side towards the water this one was just walking on to the bank. This is about 12 feet (3.6 meters) down the slope. It made a clear image because the grasses and reeds had been cut back recently for repair work. Dikes take a beating with this weather.
Looking back where I had just walked I noticed another sleeping body. The tall grass had hid the bottom there. Which is why it’s best to walk when there has been at least some cutting.
This guy was a jumper, a loud splash. He saw me long before I knew he was there. I heard him and kept walking knowing he would swim towards the deeper middle. Alligators move to the middle of the canal for safety. They dive under and swim quickly away if uncomfortable.
As I was getting to about the mid way point two heads floated up and around, doing nothing at all.
Just as I was ready to turn back I was getting the ‘curious look’. With the exception of this shot all my attention had been on my right hand side, as I walked down using the first photo here as my guide for this.
Ha… I paid no attention to anything on the left.
This article is a bit long so I may or may not publish the return walk. It’s really just more of the same. Fun though.
Thanks for tagging along.
There’s not much I can say about this shot… I don’t need too.
As I started to move through some tall grass this guy slipped over the bank into the nearby water. A big splash let me know.
I don’t like going in the grasses but will if it’s for a short walk. I admit that I don’t like not being able to see all around, but really it’s the bugs not Alligators.
The bugs chased me off so I only caught these three shots.
Always interesting to see one slowly go by, almost no ripples. Certainly no sound.
ACE Basin, South Carolina.
Some are better at it than others.
I had taken a few shots of an Alligator that was deep in the tidal mud, see part 1 here.
The marsh on my right was my main interest, however I looked over my shoulder and there was the muddy guy.
The spot I had looked down from for the previous photographs was an open trail.
It turns out he waited for me to turn and walk away. When I did he made his move to climb the dike and get into the deeper marsh water.
The car path on top of the dike is about the width of 1 1/2 cars giving you a perspective on his size. Basically, medium size.
I called to Ellen who was walking up ahead a little, she took a few shots of him too.
Not sure if I bothered him and he wanted to get away from ‘people’ or he needed to rinse off the mud.
If I had not turned I never would have seen him walk by.
One side of this dike road is on the ocean/tidal side, the other fresh water marsh. Water flows between them based on the height and ‘trunk/water gate’ openings.
It was low tide.
There were tracks and trails all over. He had been crawling around for a bit of time.
I had to lean over and push aside some tall grasses to get these shots. I wasn’t sure if I was bothering him or he was getting ready to nap. He just watched me.
Not much happening so I moved on….