Ol’ Leatherneck

Some American Alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) that I photographed in 2009 in Myakka River State Park:

American Alligator

American Alligator

American Alligator

Myakka River State Park is one of my favorite places to visit, when in Florida. Located on the Gulf side of Florida, and not far from Sarasota, it is a beautiful park. I especially love staying in one of the cabins there (I included a photo of one of these historic cabins in my post “More Red-shouldered Hawks”).

Alligators are quite numerous around Myakka Lake and up/down the Myakka River. One of my earlier trips there rewarded me in a couple of interesting encounters. First, I was up close when an old bull alligator began bellowing, while in the water … this caused hundreds of droplets of water to “dance across the water”. I also was able to photograph an alligator with a freshly-caught turtle. After working for ~20 minutes to break the shell, the turtle managed to get out of the alligator’s mouth and make his way back to the water. It was incredible to watch both the turtle and alligator as they went back into the water … I never knew either one could be so quick! Unfortunately, both these encounters were captured on 35mm slides. I’m working on finding an economical, quality way to transfer my slides to digital. Once converted, I’ll feature them in some posts.

Photo Equipment Used:

  • Canon 1D Mark 3 body
  • Canon EF100mm-40mm, f/4.5-f/5.6 IS lens + Canon 1.4x TC, shot at 540mm
  • Handheld
  • ISO 200
  • Aperture f/16
  • Shutter 1/50 sec. – 1/125 sec.



Posted in Mammals, Nature Photography, Reptiles and Amphibians, Travel Photography
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