…morning light is magic…

Gator Crossing

Why did the gator cross the road?  In this case, the mother alligator was heading to check on her babies that were on the other side of the trail after the Great Blue Heron picked one of them off.  Normally when gators cross the trail, they end up lying down and resting along the way as it takes lots of energy for them to walk on land.  Not this time.  Momma was hiking with a vengeance and didn’t stop to smell the roses as she quickly walked from one side to the other.  It only took her about 10 seconds to make the trip based on my photos.  She only stayed about 10 minutes and came back to the other side.  She also looked much larger and intimidating out of the water.

About 1/2 hr later, one of the little ones crossed the trail.  Saw him coming up the bank and ended up taking my camera off of the tripod and laid down on the trail to get a series of photos of the crossing.  I’m usually leery of laying down at BBSP around alligators but couldn’t resist this shot.  Love the markings on the young gator.  He was also tagged, with what looks like green fishing line, as described by one of the park rangers.  A second one was also going to cross but got scared away by someone on a bicycle.  He ended up coming back to momma’s side of the trail about 45 minutes later.  Sometimes the grass isn’t greener on the other side…

Also, here’s a tip on how to identify a female alligator in the wild…check to see if the gator is wearing high heels 🙂  (see photo below)

Taken with Canon 7D and Canon 500mm F4 IS II lens

1/200 sec @ F7.1, ISO 1600, evaluative metering

Brazos Bend_07505262013-2

1/320 sec @ F9, ISO 1600, evaluative metering

Brazos Bend_32505262013-2

1/640 sec @ F9, ISO 1600, evaluative metering

Brazos Bend_33305262013-2

8 responses

  1. Beth Goetzman

    great series of gator shots Tim. Lenora and I are headed out next weekend.

    June 1, 2013 at 9:35 am

  2. Thanks Beth. I’m hearing that they aren’t there anymore. Doug was out there yesterday and couldn’t find them. He’s going back this morning to check again. Momma likely moved them away from the crowds.

    June 1, 2013 at 9:38 am

  3. Great series of shots Tim. David A. and I found 2 or 3 babies (depends on who is counting) where we first saw them on the Pilant side. They were buried up in the green growth at the back. Only saw them because one came out in the open water for a few minutes and then went back.

    One went up on a small log (like some earlier shots we had) where we popped off a few before it ran off.

    David spotted the single larger one we’ve been seeing (as in older than the rest) almost at the start of the trail on the Pilant side.

    June 1, 2013 at 11:27 am

  4. The little guy looks so purposeful in the last photo.

    June 1, 2013 at 11:54 am

  5. Good captures of the babies from the “is the coast clear” to “hauling across” shots. I am still laughing about the high heels. To think all those shows I have watched they were doing it the hard way. 😉

    June 1, 2013 at 3:57 pm

  6. Thanks Doug. Sounds like we were lucky to see them when we did. Hopefully they are still around but just in hiding.

    June 1, 2013 at 6:47 pm

  7. He was on a mission for sure. Just like his mother.

    June 1, 2013 at 6:47 pm

  8. Thanks David. Seems obvious to me to check their footwear as apposed to under their tails.

    June 1, 2013 at 6:48 pm

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