See You Later, Alligator
(Taylor Creek Storm Water Management Center – Part 2 of 5)
Continuing from my last post, I have more birds (and more lifers!) that I want to share from my two-day visit to Taylor Creek SWMC, but first I thought I’d take you for a walk on the wild side of nature in Florida…..
Wanna see some Alligators?
Florida is known for their alligators, they are found in all 67 counties. Because of their danger to humans, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission puts out a brochure, “A Guide to Living with Alligators”, along with a phone number if anyone has a problem with one. One of our campground rules includes that we are to report immediately to the office if we encounter an alligator around our site or within the park.
At Taylor Creek SWMC, I was honestly hoping for a sighting of one to photograph along with my birds. In two days, I was not disappointed, I saw more than 50 easily!
It was always quiet and serene while walking the trails both days. But it did became a bit nerve-wracking when all of a sudden you would hear a helpless bird frantically squawking loudly, followed by loud water-thrashing noises. Then dead silence. Each time, I remember saying, poor birdie….
Above Alligator to left at waterline, slowly making his way to the right where (my) Roseate Spoonbill, Glossy Ibis and White Ibis are at waterline. I didn’t stay to watch!
I held my breath as I watched the above Purple Gallinule who didn’t seem to notice the hidden Alligator. I’m happy to report the Purple Gallinule made it pass him!
Some Alligators were at a distance, napping in the sun or moving slowly on top of the water.
But most of the Alligators that I saw were right alongside the walking/biking trails below, just 4-5 feet from you!
The walking/biking trails above….
And the Alligators sunning and napping alongside those trails are below.
Are you ready for some close-ups??
I always felt safe to walk on by the Alligators along the trails. I was also taking photos with my 70-200mm lens, so rest-assured I was not real close to them. Those that had opened eyes acted as if they could have cared less about anyone; they didn’t bat an eye or flinch. The very small ones would run to the water and disappear.
Yes, both days I did feel safe……up until my way out of Taylor Creek when I encountered the fella on the left in the next photo.
This Alligator was fully awake. I stopped and watched him. He never moved, only his bulky throat heaved in and out. Yikes! First, I fired a few shots from a distance. Then I walked far to the left of the trail, paying attention there weren’t any on that side of the trail, snapped a face frontal, then quickly kept going. Of course, I was looking over my shoulder the whole time. After getting well past him, he still didn’t hadn’t moved. I bet he chuckled as I hurried past…..
Here’s his close-ups…..
How’d you like that walk on the wild side of Florida??!!!! I hope you didn’t read this post late at night before going to bed……
Back to birds with my next post, promise! 🙂