Category Archives: Reptiles

Movement in the Water

The movement was subtle, especially for a 15 foot Alligator.  I’m guessing on the length–I could just say very long. This fellow was swimming quietly, but covering some distance.

Alligator Swimming Across Pond
Alligator Swimming Across Pond

He had places to go and wasn’t wasting any time getting there, swimming in a straight line from where I first spotted the movement towards an island where the Alligators often lounge at the edge of the water. And watch for wading birds to land or chicks to fall.

Alligator Swimming Across Pond
Alligator Swimming Across Pond

With the length of his back out of the water and a tree for reference you can see just how big

Alligator Swimming Across Pond
Alligator Swimming Across Pond

I didn’t see the second one until I was looking at the photos later. Tucked under the branches on the left, he didn’t move as the older and much larger beast went by.

Alligator Swimming Across Pond
Alligator Swimming Across Pond

Click on any photo for larger view.

Sharing Space

The turtles are the most likely to be seen sharing space with other creatures around the swamp and ponds. They crave the sun just like the alligators on this reptile ramp and don’t show any fear in the presence of an alligator that could easily eat them.

Alligator and Turtles
Alligator and Turtles

Wading birds like this Great Egret like a sunny spot, too, and easily find a spot in between the turtles on a nearby ramp.

Great Egret and Turtles
Great Egret and Turtles

I don’t know what this “foot in the air” display from the turtle just to the right of the egret is all about, but a little further along in another small pond I saw it again, with both hind feet straight out.

Two Turtles Sharing a Log
Two Turtles Sharing a Log

Reptile Day at the Swamp

There aren’t many wading birds around my favorite swamp right now but I still like to walk around it at least once a week and I always see something. Sunday it was reptiles. We have had some cold weather but Sunday was in the low 70s (about 21 degrees C) and turtles, lizards and alligators were out soaking up the sun.

Turtles were crawling out of the water. They often just move onto the bank of the swamp making it easy to retreat. This one was more ambitious and got a completely dry spot.

Turtle
Turtle

The Brown Anole did a nice job selecting his wooden perch for camouflage and full sun. When I passed he disappeared down a crack in the middle of this dead stump.

Brown Anole
Brown Anole

The Alligators care little about being seen. Usually they can sink and swim many feet away in seconds if they feel the need to escape. The dead tree limbs this one was in between might have slowed him down if a real predator was after him. He was content with this spot; he hadn’t moved when I returned by him twenty minutes later.

Alligator
Alligator

Click on any photo for larger view.

Gathered Around

The Cormorants were content drying their wings on the Alligator ramp as a murky sun warmed the afternoon. A Great Blue Heron came along and disrupted their peace.

Gathering Spot
Great Blue Heron coming in, Cormorants holding their territory

The Cormorants did not surrender their ground despite some posturing from the Great Blue.

Gathering Spot
Great Blue Heron puffed up

An Alligator popped up to see what was happening as I continued along my walk.

Gathering Spot
Great Blue Heron, Cormorants, and Alligator

Young Alligators

I counted at least six young Alligators hanging out with their mother. They were being very still and and the mother was under the water when I passed by going along the edge of the pond. When I returned a few minutes later I heard the tell tell “mewing” sound of one of the young calling.

Young Alligators in the Pond
Young Alligators with Mama in the Pond

Standing still for a few minutes I started to see them move around and the mother rose to a protective position. They were about 12 inches long and sometimes their heads bobbed out of the water and other times you could just see their tails switching the duckweed around.

Young Alligators with Mama in the Pond
Young Alligators with Mama in the Pond

It was almost sundown and time for them to be settling in for the night.

Alligator Parade

One by one and without a sound or a ripple of the water these three Alligators swam out from a side canal into the main one that circles the old rice field.

Alligators
Alligators

And then there were four.

Alligators
Alligators

A sepia treatment makes the scene a little more creepy. Not sure of their intended direction we moved back down the dike towards the road so we wouldn’t get cut off if they came ashore.

Alligators
Alligators

Click any photo for larger view.

A Better View

Upside down to us, but an easy position for the Anole. I didn’t realize what a long tail this one had until I was developing these photos.

Anole
Anole  – click on photo for larger view

Agile bug catchers, I suspect he was waiting for lunch to fly by.

Anole
Anole  just hanging out – click on photo for larger view

Alligators Do Like to Pose

Everybody had a spot, at least for a minute. The younger Alligators shift around more than the big adults, maybe because they are used to getting pushed off the platform by their elders. Or a big turtle.

Alligators
Alligators and a Turtle head – click photo for larger view

At the other end of the pond I found another pair posing, being watched by a third in the water.

Alligators
Alligators – click photo for larger view

This is the first group seen from the side, with a yet another Alligator climbing on the ramp for a spot in the sun. The duck weed was clinging to them all.

Alligators
Alligators and Turtle – click photo for larger view