Alligators!!! I love to watch them

We spend some of our free time aboard a boat. We might be out for a few days or a few weeks. We cruise at a slow 5 mph. It’s a slow moving trawler. So we get to see a lot of wildlife that most folks miss. Look at this beauty. Just out of the water and still clean and shiny.

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This is another good sized gator.2.14.09 003cs

Look at the size of his thigh and claws. It’s not just the teeth you have to worry about.

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I have to take my little dog ashore in an inflatable dingy. It has a 2 hp motor but I row most of the time if looking for something to photograph. We had just gotten back into the boat when the little 5 –6 footer raised up in the lily pads with a fish in it’s mouth. He had to raise up and toss it back into his mouth. I was too slow getting the camera ready, but, if you look closely…you can see the fish’s tail.

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He was about 10 feet from us.

Look at all the birds sitting around the gator. None of them look nervous. Maybe they know how to tell when they are hungry.

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I missed all the action in the next picture. They are 50 to 75 ft away and I zoomed as quick as I could…but missed the fight..or whatever it was. The one with his head out was bellowing and posturing, while I was getting the camera he and another one did the “death roll” thing with water splashin’ and flying everywhere. When they got done, there were 5 of them in the area, just cruising around looking at each other. There are 3 in this picture. The one in the center is quite a bit smaller.

5.15.09 003c In this photo you can see the same gator and his tail. That is what I meant by posturing. Normally they just glide through the water, but today he had his tail humped up…his head out of the water…just lookin’ as purty as could be. Don’t know if he was trying to impress or show how big he was to drive other males away. It’s the first time I saw this.  Needless to say…I waited until the show was over and every gator had gone on his way, before starting up the river in the dingy with the dog to the beaching spot….and I didn’t row…I fired up the motor and hustled right along. This is not a good time of year to try to get up close and personal. I mind my manners when in their habitat.

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River Otter

We spent an afternoon and night at Silver Glen Springs. It’s on the W side of Lake George, St Johns River, FL. Beautiful crystal clear water that is 72 deg year around. In the summer when it is in the 90’s it feels awfully cold, but last winter when the air temp was 28 deg and there was ice on the boat from the mist…it was like bathwater!

I use the inflatable dingy to take our small poodle ashore. It was just before dark and the otters were out having fun. They don’t mind the boats until they realize that they are being watched. As I drifted with the current, I was able to get a few photos.

I saw a lot of splashing and thought they were just playing. One came out of the water and ran to shore with a fish. On second thought, perhaps they were chasing the fish into the shallows where they could trap them. It gave the fish to a small Otter and headed back into the water.

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The next morning I was up early and out in the dingy, again with camera in hand, while Jim was making coffee. I spotted another one having breakfast.

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A few minutes later the troop showed up and did their “come follow me” routine.

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Does this guy look like he’s enjoying himself? He’s chomping on something.6.10.09a 003cs

Watch closely in this video and you can see the two young ones running along the shore.

Can’t wait to go back and spend more time with them.