The place? A state park.
The location? The causeway separating the coastal estuary, subject to the tides, from a dammed-up pond of water, subject only to human whims.
The time? Noon.
The conditions? Warm. Sunny.
The result? Oodles of smirking alligators basking in the sun along the “shoreline” where the rocks buttressing the causeway meet the scummy water.
Secure in their apex-predator role, these guys are not worried about being within 20 feet of any puny human. Nevertheless, some still go for stealth, perhaps the better to surprise lunch, my dear.
But I don’t drive through steady traffic for the gators: I do it for the birds. There are all kinds.
Some birds have no trouble maintaining their stance, even when their top half is moving fast…
… but some have to work a little harder to get and to maintain their balance, both when landing…
… and even when just walking.
Most are fairly good at not attracting unwanted attention, as seen in this 30-minute time-lapse photo.
Some are extremely uncooperative, lunging partly out of the frame and completely out of focus, and in search of what? A measly morsel.
Some, though, are happy to pose for what seems like seconds, admiring the view.
And some seem to be reflecting on the whims not of humans, but of fate.
I know just how they feel. All of them.
Both prehistoric creatures still thriving, some of them thanks to these sanctuaries.
Barbara – 🙂 Yes, I’ve been impressed with the extent of wildlife reserves/preserves/sanctuaries along the southern end of the East Coast.
Thanks for a wonderful (dry) trip through the swamp! Bird behaviour is your sweet spot.
Judith – Many thanks. Glad we both kept our feet dry.
Wow! Great pictures!
Tom – Thanks! It was a great visit.
All great captures, well captioned!
Jim R – Many thanks.
Excellent photos as usual, and yes I see it, they do smirk. I never figured that out before.
Ken – Many thanks. That trick of physiology is sort of unsettling, in context. What, exactly, are they smiling about?