Above, I guess this one was digging in the mud on the swamps edge. Most times they push around with the side of their face. One of the few places not covered in scales are the lips. Being sensitive they can feel ‘things’ in mud.
The next is a typical ‘floating head’. Again just a few feet off the bank.
These are the kinds of photos I can’t pass up. The critter is sitting right there, and after all… it’s an Alligator.
I have two names for him. Crab Gator, or Chicken Gator. Neither are good because ‘never feed’ an Alligator. It’s the law and they will be euthanized, big fines too. It’s obviously not a good thing if big Alligators associate people with food.
This is a marsh spot that allows people to catch crabs with crab pots. There are huge Blue Claw Crabs here since they can live in brackish water.
Each time I pass by the biggest local swims right over quickly to check me out.
He is big, really big. I think he has figured out how to steal the crab bait, which is chicken. The crab fisherman may leave old bait in the water too. He knows and comes for it. This means he may not be afraid of people so I keep a good distance.
I have seen him walk by on the dike here but never got a photograph. I need space because he is bigger than the viewfinder with a long lens. Oh yeah, you only shoot him with a long lens.
When I first started to follow Alligators I never really thought about how they hunt for food. I just assumed it was see something, chase it, bite it, eat it.
While that’s true most of the time it’s much different. They splash, poke, and dig.
This Alligator was in front of me splashing around to see what he could scare up.
A few others were doing the same thing so I guess it was working.
They may be big animals, yet the amount of food needed is very little. A single pound (.5 kilogram) can be good for a week. Of course like the rest of us if they get something bigger it’s OK with them.
Once they find food, it’s back to their favorite past time… floating.
In the first shot here I was about to be visited by local wanting this prime location. Several Alligators were moving around like I should leave the soft bank here to them. The grass is always greener…
If you look at right side of the photograph another (bigger) ‘friend’ is lurking.
Anyway, there was a little confusion over just who was going to get to dig in the mud here.
My new buddy slipped between me and the other gator. Just floating in his path. It was obviously intentional too. Because he stopped right in front of us.
I don’t know what was so good there but a few quick shutter clicks and I left them to sort it out.
No harm was meant towards me, it was just a waiting game.
Shot at 150mm, relatively close but not too close.