I love this photo. You can see the bird to the left walking in the water. However, he's heading right towards a gator. I watched for awhile. I figured he'd probably see the gator, but just in case he didn't... well... I'd hate to see the bird get killed but on the other hand, but a thing to see! I believe this gator is one the park personnel refer to as "George".
The bird walked up and onto the shore - giving the gator a wide berth. I guess the gator wasn't up to the chase - or figured there were meatier subjects to expend energy on!
Here's the bird again - but this picture is mainly here because of the view!
Now doesn't this look like one content animal? You can almost see him smiling...
Okay, so it's an alligator butt. But that's not why I took the picture! We, meaning us humans, can be so overcome by the mouths - i.e. teeth - of these creatures that we hardly
ever seem to really look at the rest of the animal. The detail of the skin is amazing. The coloring is truly beautiful. And to believe some people want to slaughter them right off the face of the earth!
This is the guy - girl? - whose butt I photographed. Its mug also graces my initial Okefenokee Page.
You can barely see the gator on the "wild" side of the Suwanee Canal. This photo was
taken from the rear side of the visitors center. Most of the gators we see when we visit the park are rather small - 4-6 feet in length. Certainly NOT New York Sewer Gators!
This guy's image was captured from the Waycross entrance of the park.
Often you won't see a gator once you reach the visitor's center. So, instead, keep a sharp eye out while driving along the various roads in the park. This one was floating in one of numerous ditches that line Chesser Island Drive.
Generally, the gators are either just floating in the water or sunning themselves on shore. Season and temperature can greatly effect their behavior. Stay away from these guys during mating season - and away from females guarding their nests! A female alligator can be extremely aggressive!
Ahhh... they're getting all lovey dovey... or .... are they really wondering what barbecued photographer would taste like...
Don't be lured into a false sense of safety by their apparent sluggishness. Gators are always watching for danger and prey. Whichever it may decide you are could result in an incredible burst of speed and power that could leave you breathless... literally!