First of all, I have to apologize for anyone who might have wanted to comment on my last entry. I don’t remember doing it, but the ability to comment was turned off, and I didn’t realize it until this morning. I have returned that entry to allow comments if anyone would like to do so now.

I’m behind a day on my 365 photo posting, so here goes.

Yesterday it was amazingly warm for January, and it brought the alligators back into view.

365 photo #26

I’m not sure what they do in the colder weather of January and February, but when we get unseasonably warm weather, they appear for those days. This gator was seen lying on the sunny bank off to the side – and then swimming in the water, which is when I photographed him. It’s not a stellar photograph, as it was taken quite a distance with my full zoom (400 mm) in use. I hope to get a better one as the weather gets warmer. It is then that they sometimes take to lying on the bank right in front of our house, which tends to be a bit more shady. In cooler weather they prefer more sunny southwestern exposure banks of our lagoon. Of course when they’re this “up close”, it requires that I take good care to be at a safe distance, but I am also able to get a more close up photo with my 100-400 lens.

I have learned a few things about gators. They can run amazingly fast for short distances, especially when after prey, but only in a straight line, so one’s best bet is to be along side of them, but never in front. Run “zig zag” if you sense you’re in danger. However, basically alligators do not bother humans, unless harassed or they’re very hungry. In fact, I think they are scared of us, as I’ve seen them see me, and turn the other way when in the water. I’ve seen them scoot off the bank when they sensed I was around – and from quite a distance, I might add. It’s still best to take all precautions and to treat them with respect that a dangerous creature deserves!

Today I have a variety of photos to choose from: a crow, a squirrel, and a pretty photo of a palmetto bush with the sunlight streaming through it, kind of like a stained glass window. I love palmetto’s for that reason, and am drawn to taking pictures of them. So, today’s photo will be the Palmetto leaves:

365 photo #27

However, today I can’t resist posting a “bonus photo”. Crows are annoying. They are bullies to other birds and are loud. They eat the worst trash, and love dumpsters. They torment the ospreys, especially when they are nesting, as osprey eggs make a tasty snack for the crow.  I don’t often take photos of them, maybe because they are “always there”. Sadly – I think we contributed to the resident population of the crows when, back in 2006, we built an addition onto our house. The dumpster drew them close. Then, following ours, other houses have done renovations – so the dumpsters continue to keep them nearby.  Yet — they really can be pretty – as this photo shows:

Bonus photo: crow in our neighbor’s back yard