Very big, and very patient. We were on the dike top, and he wanted the spot. Nothing very complicated. They will just wait…
The image above was taken at 200 mm.
This photograph I knelt down and pulled the lens back to the minimum of 150 mm.
He was close, as you can see by the grass, but never had any thought other than to just wait.
Respect, and don’t be stupid ! That rule works for both.
Oh, and don’t go near any babies. That falls under the stupid rule.
They must be early risers. These big guys.
Most of the time we find the average size, and age, Alligators. Maybe 5 to 6 feet (1 1/2 – 2 meters) and 6 years old, a nice size to photograph.
Larger ones, twice the average size are around and we see them often, mixed with the usual suspects.
On this day we never did see anything but the big guy’s. Oh yeah, we heard them too.
Which I admit is creepy. Walking in a marsh with high reeds means you want to see them…not some strange loud grunty / groan from the brush.
It takes a little practice to spot them sometimes. Well worth the work, in more ways than one.
One goes for the photograph, the other keeps watch. Then they switch. Obviously it’s not a perfect system if the reeds / grasses are high. I’m sure neither could see large Alligator right below.
If he turned around I’d tell them, after I got the shot.
Another flaw in the system is having 3 people. Someone is always without a look out. Like here.
I see them all the time, I grab a photograph all the time. Some are dramatic, others not so much. No matter, it’s an Alligator !
This one moves back and forth between an old pond and the river. He has a little trail and tries to sneak by. It probably worked a few years ago.
The standard shot, big guy sprawled out warming up.
Maybe a 3 year old. This one is still small enough to hide on trail / path sides and not be noticed. His head is up and feet planted firmly, ready to jump in the water if there’s a danger.
And last, the big one lurking. When they get close to the bank, with the algae and branches it’s easy to walk right by. No matter how close.
There should be about 3 more months of activity before they find places to hide from colder weather. They don’t hibernate but do sleep (who knows where) for long periods.
Under water it’s hard to tell. However… here the end of his nose, just above the water, was over a foot away from his eyes. Now I know why EJ kept waving at me and pointing down.
This one probably moves between the rivers and marsh nightly.
An average adult American alligator’s weight and length is 360 kg (790 lb) and 4.0 m (13.1 ft). So this one, a few feet off the dike, is just an average run of the mill guy.
Good to know.
This will get your attention.
This was about the least exciting Alligator I have seen in a long time.
As far as I know, this was the extent of his activity for the day.
Right before the hurricane all the rivers and marshes were running high, and fast.
It was like he was sitting in a whirlpool tub, and enjoying every minute of it.
Or…he knows it’s Alligator season and he is in a protected area.