February 13, 2016

Gator Habitat

SDP 2-13-16
Recently, when I posted "Living in Harmony" showing an alligator peacefully co-existing with several birds, a few blogger friends commented that they couldn't believe the size of the gator and how close I was standing.  Actually, that wasn't anything!

A couple weeks earlier, at the same location, I spotted this monstrous fellow sunbathing along a retention pond across from the visitor center at the Sarasota National Cemetery.  He must've been at least 12-14 feet long -- one of the biggest gators I've seen in the wild in awhile.  Naturally, I couldn't resist taking a photo or two.  As I've mentioned many times, I have a healthy respect for wildlife, particularly gators, which, believe it or not, are quite speedy on land.  I was a fairly safe distance away but when this guy turned and eyeballed me, it made me uncomfortable enough to pack up immediately (after getting the shot, of course) and scamper away.

SDP 2-13-16B

And…around the corner at the next pond I spotted this little sun worshipper.  Doesn't it look like he's smiling?  He was much, much smaller and did not appear aggressive.  Increasingly, the Sarasota National Cemetery is becoming a healthy ecosystem attracting a variety of birds and other wildlife. I've seen all kinds of herons, cranes, hawks, and gators and a security guard told me recently that a bobcat tends to prowl the area in the morning.  Happy Saturday!

11 comments:

Nancy J said...

Super shot, but I am so glad we don't have them down here. Smiling, or anticipation grin??

William Kendall said...

They are formidable critters, definitely to be given plenty of space!

Jens Hamn said...

Ooh I admire you and very impressed! I wouldn't have dared ! this animal requires our respect!

Brian King said...

Very impressive! I'd love to see one in the wild.

Michelle said...

I really like that first shot. You are brave!

Lowell said...

When we first moved to Florida some 30 years ago I got up and close to a huge alligator known as the Blue Monster on Deer Key in the Keys. I even fed it popcorn as it lay at my feet. I had no idea how stupid that was or how dangerous was such behavior. They can run 35 mph!

Now, I keep my distance.

Kay said...

Not living anywhere near gators (which is fine with me) I have to say that anything that boasts those kinds of teeth is aggressive in my book.

Andy said...

It is amazing what we photographers will do to get that once only shot. Just laying there so peaceful and still, give people a false sense of security.

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Oh no.. You wouldn't find me as relaxed as you in this situation SRQ, ever since I read that alligators drag their victims under the water a store them for later, they totally freak me out! Don't go so close! Listen to Aunty Grace :)

Gunn said...

Well, not what we see over here in Norway.
Looks like it is eager to find something to EAT.

bill said...

I can't believe the size of the gator. Never want to see him run because he is probably faster than me and I could be an appetizer :)