Really, what am I missing?
Yes, it was the golden hour. And, plenty of browns and rusts to add to the glow.
While the Herons are being busy an audience forms right below.
Might be the best seat in the house.
Note; the turtles are all looking up and watching. The Alligator is watching, me.
A prime spot to photograph Great Blues flying by… and it was occupied. Now, a few years ago I would have been long gone.
You can see the big guy is pretty comfortable. Tail wrapped around the old post, even a stick draped around his nose (probably from walking through the reeds, nobody here is dumb enough to touch him).
On this side of my new friend I could catch a few Herons flying into the swamp trees gathering sticks. On the other side I had open views of nesting trees.
Easy solution. Leave him in the middle and go back and forth depending on the Herons. It worked just fine.
Below you can see he did get up to see what I was doing. To an Alligator a photographer with Herons is pretty boring after a few minutes.
So he watched, eyes got heavy, and went to sleep.
This trail was a good 8 feet (2.4 M) wide here, I could walk around him and be dry (swamp is on both side of the trail here).
Ellen (PassingByPhoto.com) walked by also. Even after we moved on he stayed there deep asleep.
BTW, I don’t recommend getting close here unless you have been around them often. And even then a healthy space, and respect is required.
Dull, damp, days are not anyone’s favorite to shoot in. But it does have it’s advantages. The best being it’s usually just me and the critters.
In the case of Alligators the water typically looks flat, and they are anything but flat. A nice contrast.
Marsh water is not very clean, so much of the ‘stuff’ is visible. Nothing is perfect.
First topic here, this really old and ugly Alligator. In the wild Alligators can live up to 60 years. That’s a long time in an inhospitable world. The old guys have seen their share of fighting and wounds. This one looks to be missing most of his snout. I have seen some huge ones with very few teeth.
I couldn’t get a decent angle. It didn’t seem prudent to ask him to move either.
Above, like the first big guy, the Alligator is digging into the mud. It’s now winter and 12 foot (3.6M) gators need to hunker down.
A big hole would be perfect. Covering up in a mud works too. It’s hard to find holes the size of a small car.
Alligators don’t hibernate, but when the temperature gets low their body slows down and they deep sleep.
When a sunny day comes along, everybody is out catching some rays.
Even if he wasn’t hungry he will bite if you drop out of the sky on him!
You can see the Alligator on the left side of the grass patch.
Another example here of what you don’t see when taking a photograph. These shots come fast, no way would you see that Alligator.
Still, I would think the Heron would look more carefully.
This one needs the biggest screen you have.
I count at least 5 Alligators, but there is more. I only counted the heads I could see. All of them are completely covered in marsh algae and weed. And they are piled up on each other.
The left side has a huge tail / body that can be seen. But it doesn’t belong to the heads showing.
I took the shot because I thought it was funny. One of those ‘you can’t make this stuff up’ moments.