Like the first article I continued photographing the Alligator I met in the reeds. He surprised me by still swimming around and giving me the profile warning. Except maybe it wasn’t for me, or Ellen. What we couldn’t see until standing in the gator trail was the open water down the long marsh. The view is blocked by tall reeds.
Below is the scene we now had. The first gator still profiling, but all his friends too. This view showed 9 more right here. He might have been profiling them. After all, he’s an Alligator so who knows.
Below, still feisty and profiling. The photograph is a little wider while shifting to the right. On my left he also had a few more friends.
The next images, wider still, show ‘a bunch of gators’ LOL.
If possible view these last images large. Oh, count the locals that are milling around our friend.
I see maybe 21 above.
Final count was hard, they bobbed up and down, a few swam out of the reeds, pretty much a moving target. I had a final count of 35, Ellen came up with 40 from her different spot.
I’d call this one of those ‘can’t make this stuff up’ moments.
When shooting landscape images I am pretty basic about the composition. Always something in fore, a dike trunk works well. If possible something of interest in the middle, below a swimming Alligator. Last the background and the whole reason for this photo, a big blue sky (if you look close a Tricolored Heron is peaking out from the far dike reeds).
A spot we pass through often, and where we look for any warning signs. And the other morning it was real clear.
Below you can see the dike trail we are walking, and the dark torn up ground going straight across. A closer exam also shows it’s wet !
This is an Alligator trail used to move between two marshes. That much water means there has been some heavy traffic, recently.
Ellen had moved off to another spot so I moved slow to see into the big marsh on my right. Slow because it was obvious the gators where there, also they were coming from two directions.
As soon as I leaned out for a look a decent sized critter splashed on my left. He had been sitting in the reeds right here.
He was not ‘pleased’ something had invaded his space. In the shots above, and below, you can see him slow down and ‘profile’.
Profiling is when an Alligator arch’s their back. By arching they throw their head back, tail up, and usually growl. No growl this morning, just a display of territorial rights. He swam slowly off flipping his tail. I guess he felt he had made his point.
The side of a back trail that skirts wetlands has a new addition. A 15 foot length of wire fencing and a warning sign. I’m guessing since the front swamp area has been cleared of reeds the locals have (alligator) have taken it over. They never nest on this side.
Below, about 10 feet in, was Momma. In case someone thought the sign didn’t mean much she was patrolling along the edge. Good for her.
Female Alligators are smaller that the males. They reach a maximum of 8 feet (2.5 meters). Alligators are unlike other reptiles in that they protect their young for the first 2 years. We always give young ones some space knowing Mom is nearby somewhere.