Perfect Pond Perch


Give me a perfect perch at my site, and I am one happy camper! 

Not only did I have a beautiful Great Blue Heron buddy visiting alongside me daily, there were other things to watch in the water and overhead.


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Of course, alligators lived in the pond.  The camp host told me they had three alligators.  After my week there, I know there were at least four.

When I hung out on the pier for any length of time, at least one of the gators would appear off in the distance and swim over to pass by me or literally stop and just stare at me.   


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The pond was also stocked with five species of fish, for anyone’s fishing pleasure.


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Not sure what species, but it’s about 2 feet long


And then there was this one creature that I spotted.  It didn’t surface any more than shown in my photos below. 

From the eyes to the end of its snout was about six inches long.

It wasn’t a gator.  Was it a snake or turtle?  A creature washed inland from the Gulf of Mexico during one of the previous recent hurricanes? 


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Well, I knew one thing, it bugged me not knowing.  So I contacted an Alabama reptile facebook page that helped with IDs. 

No creature from the depths.
No snake, no gator. 
Just one very big softshell turtle.


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Softshell Turtle


The photo was a hit on their facebook page with the odd-looking photo, confirmations galore on ID, as well as guesses joking that it was a baby hippo.

Baby hippo?  I see that!  😉



63 thoughts on “Perfect Pond Perch

    • Thanks Hans! I do love to take reflection shots, and I’ve noticed sometimes the mirror image is more colorful than the real one, whether or not with animals, trees (like autumn foilage sometimes) and blue skies/sunsets. 🙂

  1. I also thought it resembled a baby hippo but was sure it wasn’t. Soft shelled turtle surprised me though as I had two (on separate occasions) as pets when I was a kid. This one must have been a monster.

  2. My first thought was baby hippo, but I knew it couldn’t be that in America, but it sure looks like one. But I’ve seen baby hippos and they’re not small. Fun little quiz, and I was happy you pursued and found an answer. Oh how I enjoyed each of these artistic photos, Donna. Your repertoire of alligators here is impressive. I espec. like the golden light with the alligator’s silhouette and water lines.

    • Thanks so much, Jet, your comments make me smile wide. 🙂 I am a curious one, lol, and I was also worried it was a huge snake. The lighting on that pond was stupendous, I really worked those gators. 😉

  3. Wow! You’re surrounded by alligators and turtles! No wonder there are no birds. Have fun, Donna. 🙂

  4. There is no doubt that your turtle did look like a baby hippo. That would have been some capture. I enjoyed the alligators but I am more than happy only to see them in photographs.

  5. I thought of a hippo, too! I gather you are not perched on a canal or bridge, like the last time you were observing alligators. I am fond of the image of the alligator where you can see part of its body under the water. Stay safe!

    • A cute baby hippo, lol. It was fun the way the shot came out. We were at an RV camp resort and our site had a small fishing pier for our use only if we wanted to fish. (we didn’t) When I booked it, I was eye-balling it as a wildlife perch for me. 😉 hehe

  6. Crockagators are camera hounds. They weren’t staring at you. They were posing for you. “Take my picture, pleeeeeeeeeez…” LOL!

    Your fish looks like a Carp, judging by the skin’s grid pattern and dorsal fin…plus this:

    Didn’t know about a soft shell turtle. It has a little piggy snout. I looked them up.

    • “And if you slip in, I’ll help you!” hehe

      I just looked it up, the five acre lake is stocked with five types of fish: Asian Carp, Talapia, Florida Large-Mouth Bass, Cooper-Noise Bluegill, and Redfish. Are all carp the same? It looks like it. (I don’t know fish at all.)

      • I Googled/Binged bass because I thought the pattern was bass but, I got sent down a rabbit hole of freshwater fish. I searched pictures for your fish’s pattern.

        Not all Carp are the same. There is a European Mirror Carp that looks nothing like your fish.

    • 😊 I was glad it wasn’t a huge snake, that had me worried. I got some photos of one of the gators’ head above the water, and he was sitting on the bottom with his back legs out and tail putting back. Looked comical! 😉

  7. Nice group of gator images, Donna, and cool on that turtle. They are odd creatures, for sure. I particularly like the gator with orange glow on the water. The water swirl from his tail is a real bonus!

    • Thank you very much, Ellen! I’m sure you see enough gators in your hikes. 🙂 I did have a good spot to be up over them which was cool. And yes I loved the tail water swirls too! Made me nervous a little lol when one would spot me and come over with a little speed, and those water swirls developed, I knew he was moving at a good clip.

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