Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Look, but don't touch

No visit to southern Florida is complete without a visit to the Everglades. Today my son and I were faced with the monumental decision of whether to go shopping with the ladies or go on an airboat tour to see some wildlife. After agonizing over this for about a millisecond, the Everglades won out.

Surprisingly we didn't see any reptiles on the airboat tour, although we did see a lot of different birds. However, along a canal which ran beside one of the highways, we saw countless alligators. In places there were 4 or 5 grouped together, lounging in the sun, seemingly oblivious to their surroundings, but undoubtedly ready to lunge at anything that resembled a snack. In other places large, lone creatures had staked out their territory.

Alligator numbers have rebounded significantly over the past 25 years, and we saw ample evidence of that today.

(70-200mm  f20  1/40 sec  ISO200)

(18-55mm  f8.0  1/125 sec  ISO200)


Carolyn Ford said...

These guys are SO intriguing! I really enjoyed seeing them in the canals along the highways too, when we visited a year ago. I often wondered how anyone could possibly change a flat tire in those places...geez, that would be VERY scary!

magda said...

Beautiful photos Rick !!!
I have been in Tayland many years ago, an i visit a parc with many aligatores !!!
Interesting post, thank you !!

darlin said...

You sure had to give the decision a lot of thought as to whether or not you were going to go shopping, what a dilemma. I laughed out loud when I read that, I've learned that when I read your posts not to be drinking hot tea as I never know what you're going to come up with!

The photos of the alligators creep me out, now I won't be able to sleep tonight but thank you. I still have to read a few chapters, I'm running out of procrastination ideas here. Excellent shots Rick, the bottom one is so clear, well so is the top one, but the bottom one amazes me at how clear the water is. I just don't get to see water that clear here and thankfully no alligators neither. Enjoy your day!

becky said...

Sheesh, Rick,
I hope you were using an EXTREME zoom lens & not half as close to those mighty jaws as you look. That bottom one is looking at you like "yesssss, come a little closer my human friend...."
Then SNAP, CRUNCH... YUM, a little human snack! He is actually smiling a quite mischievous grin.... Careful out there!

Scott said...

I don't know why you had to agonize over a decision like that for so long. We did that once and really enjoyed it except the terrible noise from that engine. We did see a few alligators though. Fun day.

Leslie said...

Don't touch? No fear ; )

imac said...

Neat shots Rick. - see ya later alligator

Tiago Braga said...

very nice, the way that you capture the animal!

CarreraCaballo said...

Shopping with the ladies or air-boating into Alligator territories have the same level of danger, either way you can get hurt . . . LOL . . . :-D

Nice pics, although the motives are not as cute as Darlene's dog ;-P



darlin said...

LMAO Joseph! How can you get hurt by shopping with the ladies? Well maybe your pocket book can but that's minor in the big picture! :-)

And Rick, soon I'm off to get that essay done! I just had to come over and see what's up here, it's habit now to visit your blog and Joseph's nightly. Well maybe not habit but I enjoy seeing what the two of you are up to.

Rick said...

I really found them intriguing but I read last night (late) that there have been quite a number of deaths attributable to gators, esp. in Florida. I think I'd call AAA if I had a flat tire near here.

Thank you Magda. Most of these were in the wild, along the highway. A bit creepy !

Thanks Darlene - as you can tell, it's always a tough choice for men ;-) As for the gators, the one in the bottom photo was in a lagoon where the airboats were - I could lean over a short fence to get this one which was only about 4 ft away. The top one was in the wild - across a small creek along the highway - maybe 20 ft away. We sure hoped he had already eaten that day ! See how lucky you are to have -30C up there - no gators !

Rick said...

I was only about 4 ft from that one, Becky, but behind a short fence at the airboat place. The other one was in the open along the highway - we figured we could get in the car quickly if he moved towards us (famous last words ;-) And from what I've read about them, it would be quite a snap, crackle, crunch if he ever got hold of one of us. Yep - used the telephoto on him alright !

If we're faced with that decision again sometime, Scott, we'll know right away what the right answer is ;-) And you're right, the noise was deafening and made it difficult to capture all the wading birds.

LOL Leslie - you're right !

Thanks Stewart (in a while, crocodile)

Rick said...

Thank you Tiago !

ROFL Joseph ! I think you're right - either way can take a chunk out of you ! And yes, Abbie wins the cute award over these guys any day !

Oh Darlene, you know that we're only not up to no good - just funnin' is all. Thanks for dropping by. I'm off now after trying hard to catch up.

Tricia said...

YiKeS! They're so scary looking... but great shots of them, especially the 2nd - WoW! =)

SKIZO said...

thank you for sharing

Soraia B. said...

Love it :D

Rick said...

Thank you Tricia ! Very interesting looking ... from the other side of the fence !

Thanks for visiting and commenting Skizo !

Rick said...

Thanks Soraia !

Avery said...

Nice second shot!

Rick said...

That guy in the top shot was at least 10' long - and only about 30' from us !! Thanks, Avery !