Monday, February 02, 2009

Gator Mama

Ever do this?

You take a picture of one thing and then later notice you caught something else in the frame?

Last Friday, I spotted this gator sunning on a brushy bank. She was opposite me across a roadside ditch and I shot frame after frame as I crept closer, because I expected her to slosh off into the water at any second.

I didn't know I had babies in the adult gator photograph until I sat down to review the pictures before I hiked out. I knew there were babies in the area, because I could hear them calling while I photographed the mother alligator. I was so focused on her that I didn't notice the babies in the foreground ... that and a little thing called middle-aged farsightedness prevented me from spotting the babies until I zoomed in a bit.



Above is a lightly cropped view of the big female gator reflecting on the joys of motherhood.

Check out the baby on the Mom's paw in the closely cropped shot above.

After the mother slid off into the water, she hovered nearby, about 3 feet away monitoring me and her babies.
Nothing new there.
Good mothers are always multitasking.

I have these little ones on video crawling up the slope. Perhaps on Wordless Wednesday we can watch that.


You know you are a baby gator when a leaf can serve as your pillow.
Gator babies in January...
Forget Punxsutawney Phil, winter will be leaving soon.

23 comments:

Susan Rose said...

Once I viewed a gator nest while on a tram ride through the everglades. This gave me insight into the maternal nature of gators. I'll never forget that. Gators are special creatures.

threecollie said...

Wow, truly wonderful photos! Much better than any old woodchuck (although as ever, I am glad we have the latter here and not the former)

TROLL said...

Great pics. I had a BIG Gator Mama chase me off once. I swear I had no intention of eating her young-uns.

Dani said...

She has the tired eyes and a happy smile of being a new mommy. Nothing cuter than little babies!

Dr. Know said...

Good mothers are always multitasking.

Good gator mothers are always looking to eat Dudes With Cameras who get too close to their offspring. You be careful, ya hear.

Pretty soon they'll be ready for shipment to NYC for a life in the sewers. ;-)

From the looks of it, you've got a healthier crop of gators than the Everglades.

Prem Subrahmanyam said...

You were lucky she didn't decide to give you chase...mama gators, as Troll said, can be pretty protective of their young.

---Prem
The Florida Native Orchids Blog

Anonymous said...

I don't believe I'm admitting this.....at first I thought, OMG, he didn't see the one in the water either! Then I realized it was Mama Gator's reflection.

Cute babies.

Patti

Sandcastle Momma said...

Those are really neat pictures!
We ran across 4 baby gators on a pond bank last year but didn't see mama so we were scared to get too close. I'm surprised this mama let you get so close.

elpbulls said...

Great pics! I love how one of the babies is on her leg toooo cute. I was thinking you should blow up that first eagle pic and hang it up at school. Love ya

Deb said...

Awww, cute! What's the survival rate on gator babies? With a mama like that I'm guessing it's pretty good.

ChrisC and JonJ said...

We haven't even heard the gators on our lake mating yet.Hmmmm....

robin andrea said...

Wonderful little baby gators. I'm glad you caught such good shots of them. They are very cute, and mom looks like a very fine protective creature.

Alan said...

One of the blessings of modern photo and digital editing technology - all of the gators, none of the annoying being eaten to death. :)

Lady Jane said...

Dontcha just lurve middle age? (the poor grammar is my way of staying relevant to the youth of today (or not);)

Great pix.. I do love Florida's wildlife.

Wren said...

What a nice surprise - I don't know that I've ever seen baby gators before.

kathy a. said...

i have never seen baby gators before. [then again, why would i?] but i hope you show your kids at school some of these kinds of photos -- they are really wonderful shots!

Anonymous said...

...or perhaps reflecting on how tasty the last photographer was.

Ericka said...

so cool! i went tramping about in the swamps around here a couple of weeks ago, but the gators are still proving elusive. it's probably just as well, i'm fairly stupid about cute baby aminals.

Kimberlee said...

I can't wait to see the video!!! You can be sure that my students will be viewing baby alligators for the first time! I love that little noise that they make. Do hope you were zooming...with your camera AND your paddle! :)

Dr. Know said...

How many remember when they sold baby gators in department stores as pets? Tiny head bobbing, grunting lizards; they were cute - for a while.

Bill said...

Go Gators!
Sorry, just couldn't resist.

Billy

Aunty Belle said...

Really neat stuff.

Okay, FC, It's time. Ya oughta put together a littl book of your photos an' reflections--I's buy it fer shure!

Julie Zickefoose said...

AGGGGH! I LOVE THIS!