Gator day at the park.

I had my first real close encounter with a big one recently at Circle B Bar Reserve. I’ve been visiting this park for over 10 years and until recently, I always joked that the gators were fake. They never seemed to move, just sleeping on the other side of the pond. I was at the park early and the water levels along the trails were high. The first picture was taken with my 300mm lens so I wasn’t that close. The second one was taken with my phone. That’s my shadow at the bottom. There were people coming up behind me and once the big guy crossed the trail, we all headed down together. Our theory was safety in numbers. By the time we got to were he had crossed, we saw him swimming half way across the lake.

Another big one on the same morning, taken with my 300mm lens.

A few tiny ones on the trail.

One of the “really” big ones across the lake, on the other side of the bank.

Otherwise, it was a slow morning with the usual turtles and warblers.

It finally looks like fall in late December.

Linking to My Corner of the World.

More of the same at Circle B Bar Resesrve.

Red shoulder hawks are everywhere. Soon they’ll be nesting.

Same for the great blue herons.

The usual turtles and gators.

A few white pelicans fly overhead.

Not sure what this is but I think it’s a cocoon of some kind. How did this bug get those sticks so perfect?

The marsh is full of bur marigolds in November and December.

All the usual wildlife at Chesnut Park

I saw a hawk sitting on the pole holding up the volleyball net.  A few minutes later it started to rain. I ducked under cover but he just sat there through the quick shower.

All of the usual birds were at Chesnut Park in early November, including the female common yellowthroat warbler.

Two different female American redstarts came out of hiding for a few seconds.

I think this is a female painted bunting, which is fairly rare to see at this park.

Other critters at the park including that alligator in the top picture with a huge fish hanging out of his mouth.

Showing off on Lake Morton

Lots of pretty swans on Lake Morton.

The cormorants were getting all their “ducks” all lined up.

In a flash, I saw the male northern shoveler flying away. He was very skittish.  Then a ring necked duck came in for a landing.

A lady was feeding the ducks some cracked corn (which is what they should be eating instead of bread).

Drying off on the lake.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing: weekly photo linkup