Took a vacation day off on Friday to head to Brazos Bend State Park in Texas to avoid the crowds. Well that didn’t work out so well as several bus loads of school kids came by to see the baby alligators where we had camped out for a few hours waiting for one of them to crawl on top of momma’s head. The kids eventually left and the gators finally cooperated.
The park volunteers giving the tours mentioned that the babies were likely 4 to 6 months old. They stay with their mother for a couple of years. The mother may lay 30 to 40 eggs with only 1 or 2 alligators surviving to adulthood. This looked like a young mother as she was not very big.
First photo is a baby alligator just chillin on top of momma’s head in order to warm up. Like this one with both eyes open, baby hugging momma’s eye, reflection in the water and the shadow of the baby’s foot.
1/1000 sec @ F11, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, +1/3 exposure compensation
Was hoping for one to get on her head and was thrilled when 3 of them climbed aboard. When two of them were on her nose, she shook them off and one climbed back on into this position with the original one on her head. Was incredible to see and photograph. Best baby gator photo op in the last 20 years in Texas for me. We hit the jackpot for sure.
They maintained this pose for about 28 minutes until we took all of the potential photo combinations available and we finally moved on.
This is a full frame shot cropped to pano. Had to keep backing up to get her full head into the shot.
1/1250 sec @ F11, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, +1/3 exposure compensation, Canon 1DX & 500mm, handheld