‘Gator crossing 🐊

So…. I was minding my own business, walking alone on this trail one recent foggy morning, when I spotted this reptilian roadblock a few yards in front of me!! 😳

The ‘gator didn’t move a muscle – he just sat there, smack in the middle of the path. Should I just turn around and go the other way?! (This trail happens to be bordered on both sides by swampy waterways that are frequented by American Alligators.)

But the guy above who was walking toward me on the trail didn’t even pause…. He just kept going!! And sure enough, guess what the alligator did (fortunately 😬)!? 

 

46 thoughts on “‘Gator crossing 🐊

    • When asked that question, someone once famously answered, “Anything they want!!” Seriously Yishai, the ones we see eat fish, wading birds, and turtles (even baby gators 😒). But they also eat mammals, depending on what else is found in their habitat.

  1. Wow! Hopefully he’s a regular who’s learned how to judge their behavior and so mostly knows what he’s doing. I have to say, knowing what little I currently do, I’d have stopped and watched, wondering as you did, capturing photos while trying to decide. Did he make any noise as he approached, or did he just keep walking? We don’t have much around here that would give me pause as an alligator would. Perhaps a black bear, though they usually stay hidden or run off quickly.

    • He didn’t make a sound, Todd. But interestingly, an hour later I heard no fewer than 15-20 different gators bellowing as I walked these same trails! Something they do during mating season. It’s a deep, rumbling, low roar – almost sounds like a lion growling, and reverberates throughout the preserve!

    • Thanks Anita! We weren’t used to them before we moved to Florida, either. Never saw them in upstate New York 😉. But we learned a lot about how to be cautious around them since we’ve lived here.

  2. Love sightings like that! I would have turned around if the other guy hadn’t come. He must have been a regular and could judge appropriately. What a beautiful place to walk!

    • Yes Pam, that man is a regular there, and said he’s had many experiences encountering gators along the trails. I also would not have ventured forward any further if things haven’t turned out the way they did when the man came along!

  3. I’m glad he didn’t stop for a snack!! Round here it’s more likely to be a duck or a swan that we meet while out for a walk – a lot less exotic but at least they don’t try to take a nibble out of passersby. 🙂

    • Yes, Ann, I still think of it as exotic that we see so many alligators. They are pretty much everywhere we frequent to go birding. Fortunately, they don’t generally bother humans, but they can be unpredictable if you venture into their territory, especially during mating or nesting season or when their hatchlings are still very small.

  4. I also would have stopped and watched, but some folks need to keep on walking! I was also wondering what he is carrying on his shoulder, which is not to say I was not fascinated by the alligator. They are distinctively different to the Nile crocodiles we get here, which is not to say I come across them when I go walking 🙂

    • I think you’re 100% right, AB. The man was confident that the gator would move on, and the gator had no intention other than to eventually get to the other side – even though he clearly was in no hurry!

  5. Beautiful creature!

    Hope that “confident man with a stick” continues to be lucky. Alligators are wild animals and, despite what some think, are unpredictable. His attitude of continuing to walk thus making the ‘gator move is not something endorsed by wildlife biologists. If one is not patient enough to wait for an animal to move of its own accord, one should find somewhere else to walk.

    Sorry for the rant. Pet peeve.

    • Thanks so much for your comments, Wally. I believe you are absolutely correct. There is signage everywhere warning people not to harass or approach gators, and reminding us that this is their home and we are visitors.

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