Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Rest Of The Tail Tale

This is the gator connected to the tail in yesterday's post. This photo was taken in the same spot the day tropical storm Barry came over dropping 4 or 5 inches of rain. He's appeared on Pure Florida before as he's wonderfully easy to photograph since he's always in the same area.
Yesterday's photo was just a reminder that you really need to be alert around freshwater bodies in Florida. These truly wild gators are actually less of a threat than the ones near human habitation. Those suburban gators lose their fear of humans through familiarity.
Speaking of tails ...

Around here, when I go for a photo op walk around the Pure Florida woods, I first have to dodge these knuckleheads. Flounder (standing) and Feather are sibling puppies that have brightened our lives for the past 11 and a half years.
Even though they spend a lot of time snoozing on the porch these days, for some reason (love and complete adoration of me) they really enjoy coming along if I head off the porch with camera in hand.
This creates all kinds of challenges for my wildlife photography efforts. It's frustrating to pick each footfall, avoiding twigs and crunchy leaves as you close on a deer or bird, and then have two dogs walk on ahead of you crunching and smashing through the brush.

Should you stop to hunker down and wait for the wildlife to come to you, Feather will take this as a sign that you are eager to rub her belly. To make this easier for you, she will assume the belly rubbing position and roll back and forth to get your attention ... AND the attention of whatever wildlife you were stalking.

Doggy dentures?
I've tried reasoning with her, but she does that "You hung the moon" adoration thing and I melt.
As if wildlife photography wasn't challenging enough ...
... now I have to be stealthy just to get out of the house.
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13 comments:

Ava said...

Holy cow! The rest of the gator!!! That would scare the crap out of me!!

I took my dog birdwatching a few times ... needless to say ... we saw nothing!!!!! (No birds anyway ... lots of other stuff though)

robin andrea said...

That is one big alligator, fc. Good thing you saw him first.

I meant to comment the other day when you casually mentioned if you fix up the puppy house, you might get to put a new puppy in it. Really? Are you thinking about getting a new doggie? Another beautiful lab? That would be very sweet.

SophieMae said...

Oh that gator's just a young'un. Most of the ones we see are near about that size. Once in a while, we get a real thrill and catch sight of Granddaddy crossing the road.

Who could resist that furry face?! I did wonder aloud, to DS the other day, how you have so many deer in your yard with 2 dogs out there. We decided labs must be a lot more hospitable than Aussie/border collies. 8-]

Ericka said...

that is so cool. do they have alligators in north carolina? maybe i can find one... here, gator, gator, gator!

lol - i can't believe you'd even try to go on a walk without your helpers! my german shepherd was a HUGE help to me - i swear she'd wait until i'd have the bird/lizard/bunny/misc creature in my camera sights and then she'd bounce in just as i'd hit the button. i have lots of pictures of her laughing at me, and a tail of some sort disappearing from the other side. *sigh* i miss my puppy.

Doug Taron said...

We're so far north that we barely even get lizards in this area. What a fine gator. The other two ferocious animals that you photographed look like fine critters as well.

WrenaissanceWoman said...

I prefer logs that don't bite; not that I have anything against gators in Florida, but if they come marching north like the armadillos I may have to reconsider living next to a wetland.

Sweet doggies. Those big, sad eyes get you every time, don't they?

Hal at Ranch Ramblins said...

Great photos, as usual. Thanks for sharing them.

As much as I like Florida, I'm very happy knowing that the critters out here in the Ozarks don't view us humans as a source of protein!

Peggy said...

I love your dogs--they are much more important and fun than takin' a few pictures of the local wildlife! (The wildlife will be there forever....)

Looks like you have some sweet ones there. We do, too. Great to see yours.

Floridacracker said...

Ava,
Yes, dogs seem especially good at finding other things ... dead things quite often, so good to roll in you know... and trees, they are very good at finding trees.

Robin,
I tend to think Labs only when I think puppy. It was wishful thinking mostly, but you never know ...

Sophie,
My dogs and the deer have a mutual agreement to ignore each other. When younger, the dogs would charge off the porch, but these days they like their cozy cushions too much.

Ericka,
Actually, you do I believe along the coastal swamps. Some of the biggest gator I've ever seen were in South Carolina at the Savannah River National Wildlife Refuge.
Your shepherd doggy sounds wonderful. I know all about the missing of a fine dog ... it doesn't go away.


Doug,
Thanks, they are oldies but goodies. My thermostat says if it's too cold for lizards it's too cold for me.


Wren,
If you live next to a wetland here, you have to keep your dogs under tight control or those logs will eat them.
Yes, those eyes do get me every time.

Hal,
There must be something especially refreshing about being in a lake or river and not constantly scanning for el legarto.

Peggy,
Spoken like a true dogophile. I agree wholeheartedly.

Mark said...

Well, you did hang the moon, didn't you?

Floridacracker said...

Mark,
She seems to think so ...

Laura said...

Oh, this post rings a bell with me. I can't tell you how often I'll start composing a photo, only to have the dog come bounding up and scare the critter away.

This isn't your pond, is it? (didn't think so, but was wondering where it was taken.)

Sandy said...

WOW! a gator right in your back yard and I have to pay money to go out on those swamp tours just to see one.

I have the same problem with a couple of my cats who want to always get in my way while I'm bird watching or trying to photograph a flower. hahaha