Friday, February 7, 2014

CAMERA CRITTERS AND SATURDAY'S CRITTERS

I am joining Misty's Camera Critters and Eileen's Saturday's Critters.  Thank you for hosting these great memes ladies.

This is an alligator post from our trip to the Everglades.  We last visited several years ago in the spring and I don't ever remember the number of gators then that we saw on our latest trip.  


They seem to be thriving.


It is around this time that they start looking for mates and in the undergrowth, what we at first thought all those years ago as very loud frogs, were in fact the sound of alligators calling to each other.  It is a very surreal sound.  We heard similar sounds on our recent visit, though they weren't quite as noisy.  


There were two alligators right next to the trail we were walking on.


On either side.  You really had to be aware of your surroundings.


Do you see the Great Blue Heron on the left of the picture below?









I felt pretty safe when I saw this large group at the end of one of the boardwalks, which was overlooking them from above.


We really did think that a few of the tourists were getting too close to get a photo op.   I came across a man whom I thought was very unwise.  He was asking his wife to take photographs of him with their two young children by one of the alligators right next to the trail.  I couldn't hear what she was saying but I could tell by her expression and the sound of her voice that she wasn't happy.  A photo was taken quickly.  Later as she and I were walking towards each other along the same path, we were passing the spot where the two alligators were on each side.  We both were 'tight-rope' walking swiftly in the middle of the path, and as we looked at each other while keeping an eye on the alligators, in the universal language of the eye-roll we spoke volumes, smiled and laughed a little uncomfortably as we passed one another, and walked on in the opposite direction.


They are wonderful creatures, however, and it was awesome seeing them in their own natural habitat. You just have to be sensible and treat them with the utmost respect.  


As I walked by this big fellow I remembered the Ranger telling someone that they aren't as slow as they look, they can run 20 miles per hour on land.  


So, it is important not to take them for granted.  Sleepy they may look but not really.   You just have to use your common sense and don't do the ridiculous things that I have read people do.  Many of these photos were taken with a zoom lens by the way.


We had a tremendous time making our way along the Anhinga Trail,  and and also walking along the boardwalk.  They are an incredible sight to see.  


On the whole at no time did I feel unsafe, wary but not unsafe, though as I said before you have to use your common sense. Frankly and you may think I am being super overly cautious when I say this,  I wouldn't want to take very young children here, no energetic toddlers who like to run here there and everywhere.  I did see 12-13 year olds being escorted by Park Rangers and I thought that was fine.  I saw none of the alligators walking on the path as I've seen in photos online.  They all seemed as though they were resting or sleeping ....


but several had their eyes open, and seemed as interested in us as we were in them.


I look forward to the next time we come here.


You feel like prehistoric times haven't disappeared at all.


"Never insult an alligator until you have crossed the river."
~Author unknown~

28 comments:

William Kendall said...

Holdovers from the dinosaurs, I've always thought. They are magnificent animals. And that's what a zoom lens is for... you respect the animal, give it plenty of space, because yes, they do move fast when they want to.

TexWisGirl said...

they almost look unreal! amazing! thanks for sharing so i can 'enjoy' from here!

Country Gal said...

Nice photos ! I love the TV show Swamp People that's what all these gaters remind me of lol ! Thanks for sharing and be careful around them they are fast on land . Thanks for sharing . Have a good weekend !

gigihawaii said...

Amazing photos, Denise. You took more photos than I did when we were down there in the Everglades. Wasn't it fun?

SquirrelQueen said...

Fascinating creatures. I am amazed at the numbers of gators you encountered. Glad to hear the foolish man and his children are okay, some people really lack common sense around wild animals.

Arija said...

Great shots Denise but frankly, prehistoric predators are not among my personal favourites.

Kerri Farley said...

Oh My Goodness......Glad you had your zoom lens. Awesome shots!

Sallie said...

I love seeing alligators and feel exactly as you do about them, so this post made my morning! It makes me a little bit sad when people don't appreciate them....but yes you have to be sensible. What on earth is that one resting his head on?

Indrani said...

All "OMG" kind of shots! You people are brave. I don't think I could have walked so close for a few pictures. What if one decides to chase me?!!!

DIMI said...

Wow!Amazing shots!They are magnificent animals!Thanks for sharing!
Dimi...

eileeninmd said...

Denise, awesome post on the gators. I enjoyed our stop at the Everglades. The gators do seem to be thriving there. Great shots. Thank you for linking up to my Saturday's Critters. Have a happy weekend!

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

Amazing pictures. Me, I'm happy to enjoy them on other people's photographs.

Jane and Chris said...

They are most magnificent creatures,but I think I'd stay in the car thank you very much.
Jane x

Brian King said...

Great photos! I really like the one showing all the teeth! I'd like to see wild gators. I've only seen them in zoos.

Pat said...

Incredible series of gator shots! Good use of a zoom lens.

Rajesh said...

Great shots of alligators, so many of them.

VioletSky said...

Thank you for these photos - I don't think I'd dare get out of the car!

ulla laiho said...

It looks dangerous to be so close to the crocodiles. I shudder just I see them in pictures.

lina@happy families said...

Amazing but scary animals. Love your shots, Denise, especially ones that focused on eyes.

Gunilla Bäck said...

Awesome critters! They look like they've come straight from the time of the dinosaurs.

Christian Weiß said...

A fascinating place, I'm surprised about the number on such a small place.

diane b said...

Wow you got some great shots. I'm glad you said that you used the zoom to get that close. I'm glad you felt safe but it didn't look it to me. There is no way we would go that close to crocodiles.

Karen said...

Gorgeous shots of these prehistoric looking beauties!

SeagullSuzie said...

How wonderful to get so close to these animals-they are amazing shots. Agree that I wouldn't like to take young children near them....a light snack perhaps thinks the gator!

Jen said...

Alligators can move very quickly. Get too close and they'll prove it. Very nice shots.

Pia said...

Oh wow, so many allgators on one place!
Wonderful animals, wonderful photos! But I am glad I can enjoy them here safe and sound on the sofa :-)
Thanks for sharing!

Linda W. said...

Great photos and interesting story!

Kay said...

Good grief, Denise! That looked really scary. But what amazing photos you got! I love the shot of the flower over the alligator.