Day 158/365 No Donuts Here...

by Russell Smith June. 07, 2019 190 views

When I went to where this guy hangs out usually I spooked him. He spooked the dragonfly. Then the dragonfly landed on his head and he cruised back to near where I spooked/scared him from. I love the way an alligators eye looks a golden tone to it.

As you can see his head from tip of nose to eyes is about the length of 5 maybe 6 of the dragonfly. Based on the fact that the dragonfly is about maybe 3 inches long. This little guy is about lets say 5.5 x 3 so about 16-17 inches long. I would guess that he/she/it is about 2 years old give or take a few months. They grow about a foot a year for the first several years. Once they reach around 5 foot they are usually sexually mature or adults.
Now I am a bit concerned that the other two that hang out with him in this location have not been seen in about a month. So either they moved on to another territory up or down the swamp from here or became food for another alligator or predator althought at 2ish feet it is unlikely it was a wading bird that got it so maybe one of the raptors .

I did see one other small Alligator but it was off about 50-80 yards from me .

The tail part of this guy sticking up is what caught my attention because it did not belong and was either a stick or a gator tail but given the sharp look to it I was betting it was an alligator before I brought my camera up to my eye.

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Piotr Matura 4 months, 1 week ago

What are the chances to something like that happen! Great job capturing this, I like the photos very much.

4 months, 1 week ago Edited
Russell Smith Replied to Piotr Matura 4 months, 1 week ago

Thank you.

4 months, 1 week ago Edited
Andi Saw 4 months, 1 week ago

Was he coming to eat you?
Impressive set! Really!

4 months, 1 week ago Edited
Russell Smith Replied to Andi Saw 4 months, 1 week ago

As small as it was I think my big toe would have made a meal for a few days .

4 months, 1 week ago Edited
Andi Saw Replied to Russell Smith 4 months, 1 week ago

... a lizard! smile

4 months, 1 week ago Edited
Paul Moreau 4 months, 1 week ago

Sensational. Well done on keeping your hand and heart-rate steady when you realised what was in front of you grinning

Were you hand-held or with tripod/monopod? I have the equivalent Sigma lens, which is great but a bit of a beast (although I manage with a monopod for sport).

4 months, 1 week ago Edited
Russell Smith Replied to Paul Moreau 4 months, 1 week ago

I was on a tripod for this trip. I will do an excursion with no tripod to compare and get an idea of what the limits are. I did use a monopod with the 70-200 that I have I may try it with this lens and see how it works.

4 months, 1 week ago Edited
Berckmans Peter 4 months, 1 week ago

a free ride for the dragonfly. Why fly if you can ride. Nice set Russell

4 months, 1 week ago Edited
Russell Smith Replied to Berckmans Peter 4 months, 1 week ago

I guess it cashed in some of it flight miles for a free ride :)

4 months, 1 week ago Edited
Lynn F Medley 4 months, 1 week ago

#1is a wonderful shot! Such detail and stillness ,,

4 months, 1 week ago Edited
Russell Smith Replied to Lynn F Medley 4 months, 1 week ago

Thank you.

4 months, 1 week ago Edited
Camellia Staab 4 months, 1 week ago

Shot #1 is perfect love the presence of the dragonfly with his wings spread out and then the reflection. I also like the coloring in the photo better than #2 although your exif shows them to be identical. All in all nice captures.

4 months, 1 week ago Edited
Russell Smith Replied to Camellia Staab 4 months, 1 week ago

The sun came out for a second in #2 so the yellows were picked up by #4 it had went behind the cloud again. I thought about cooling it off a bit but then again I liked the yellows showing up more in the skin of the gator. Unfortunately the light was not so great for experimenting with some of the higher apertures and retaining the ability to keep a relatively high enough shutter speed to eliminate any motion blur on the animals. I am hoping next week for a clear day and I will go up during mid day to play and better understand how distance and aperture effects things. I have book knowledge and on my other lenses I have a working knowledge just this one I am still learning. I do know from the cottonmouth shots I need to be somewhere around f11 maybe f16 if I want more of the snake in sharp focus.

4 months, 1 week ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Russell Smith 4 months, 1 week ago

Your experimentation is my enjoyment smile

4 months, 1 week ago Edited
Russell Smith Replied to Camellia Staab 4 months, 1 week ago

I was that kid who not only wanted to know why but as long as it would not kill me I wanted to see what would happen if I did it this way instead. Yes this led to many instances of me getting in trouble. Like the time I took the steering wheel off the van with no tools and in 5 min. Lol my name was Mudd to say the least. I feel it is important for me to have both a working book knowledge and a practical knowledge of why this or that wont work unless I am in this certain condition. I guess that is why photography still holds my attention there is so many variables to explore even with one or two pieces of kit.

4 months, 1 week ago Edited
Camellia Staab Replied to Russell Smith 4 months, 1 week ago

You know what they say...'curiosity killed the cat" in your case as long as the cat survives why not. And you are correct there are so many variables in photography hence why to me as well it never gets boring.

4 months, 1 week ago Edited
Radha Mistry 4 months, 1 week ago

You like hanging around dangerous animals!

4 months, 1 week ago Edited
Russell Smith Replied to Radha Mistry 4 months, 1 week ago

I love animals of all kinds nature is my happy place and therapy room.
I do take plenty of precautions to mitigate the danger :). Alligators are much less aggressive that crocs although the American Crocodile is on my bucket list of things I want to shoot. Even those are less aggressive that some of the other species found on our blue planet.

4 months, 1 week ago Edited
Radha Mistry Replied to Russell Smith 4 months, 1 week ago

Ok, as long as you know what you are doing! The croc knows you are watching him closely, can see him watching you back in one of the pics. And as long as you remember they are ambush predators! But, I totally get the appeal of the risk of shooting them. And, you got some pretty awesome shots. Zoom in on his scales maybe next time; I find the fact they have been around for so long incredible. Its like looking at history in their skin.

4 months, 1 week ago Edited
Russell Smith Replied to Radha Mistry 4 months, 1 week ago

Yes . I have lived around Alligators for the most part of my life and have encountered them many times in the wild. I was at a viewing platform also. I will try to remember to get a shot of it next time. I love the textures of their scales and I have a few that are fossilized. This one was about 2/3rd of a meter long. Big enough Mom isnt hanging around small enough to be less of a threat and I think I was about 15 or so meters from it. On a side note the area that I live was discovered to be a crocodile nesting area eons ago so their fossils are relatively common here .

4 months, 1 week ago Edited
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