Tag Archive: alligator

As we enter the last week we will be here for this season, I’m relishing all that nature has to offer us right in our own back yard. Sometimes I’m amazed at how many species of animals live in close proximity to one other – most times amicably. Different kinds of songbirds frequent the feeders without concern for the other. Admittedly, certain birds can be more feisty and chase the more docile away, but basically it’s ok. But – there are dangers that lurk, and sometimes I wonder about the tension that exists for most species – just to exist. Birds, rodents, and squirrels worry about raptors. Fish worry about ospreys and human fishermen. And, all small animals worry about the alligator.

I don’t think they worry in the sense that humans worry. They are programmed to take the precautions that they do, so it comes naturally. It’s not “worry” or any kind of “intellect” or “thought” which which causes their actions. They simply do what their instinct tells them to do with no human emotions attached. Maybe there is an advantage in not knowing the ramifications to their life. They just … “live” … as God intended. (Might we learn a little from this way of being?) However, from the human vantage point, life is hard in nature. And, it’s hard for me to watch as I sometimes project my human emotions onto animals in the wild. I wonder what the percentage is of baby animals in the wild which actually make it to adulthood? It’s different for every species, I know…

Yesterday when we were talking with our neighbor, he told us that last year the ospreys lost a baby which fell out of the nest located across the lagoon from us. The crows are relentless in pursuit of nesting ospreys – tormenting the parents, and working hard to get the eggs – as well as – I think – the babies. According to our neighbor, it was a crow that caused the accident – and they happened to be looking when it happened.

In reading about bluebirds, I was astounded at the predators which can invade bluebird nests – house sparrows, snakes, squirrels, and even cats. I now realize that having my bluebird box attached on a tree rather than a pole is dangerous as it allows more easy access to predators to climb up and get inside. Today these thoughts came to mind when inspecting the bluebird nest area. I noticed on the grass not far from the box some evidence of “something unidentifiable” that appeared dead. It was so small and there were no feathers, nor did it appear to be the right color, but I still wondered if it was a bluebird baby, mainly because of the proximity to the bluebird box. Clearly I am very inexperienced! However, not long after the father bluebird came to the box and I could – again – hear the little bluebirds inside. Maybe it was only one baby? Maybe it was something else? But – I just don’t know.

With all this in mind, my 365 photos will include many parts of nature that live close by to me:

365 photo #119 – the alligator. I am always watchful when I’m walking not far from the lagoon edge. I’m always looking for a gator head pointed at the shoreline – or watchful that one is silently sunning itself not far from the edge. They are so quiet and still when lying there that sometimes you don’t realize he’s there until you’re quite near. With that in mind, I noticed one on the bank before I went outside the other day. I did go out – but snapped the photo from the safety of the patio – with my 100-400 lens!
365 photo #120 — the magnolias are out! However, the squirrels love them. As fast as they bloom the squirrels get the blooms and drop them to the ground. I guess they like the seeds therein. So – this tree never covered with these white blooms, but they come out – one at a time – and leave just as quickly

Bonus photos:

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1. Click to see this photo larger, so you can really see the osprey, as he was quite far away. The crow was bothering him – and when he left this perch, he flew with the crow taunting him – in hot pursuit!
2. A gecko on the side of the bluebird box. I flicked him off as I do not want him to get inside. Not sure he’s a danger – but didn’t want him there anyway.
365 photo #121. We are in a drought now, so we have our sprinkler system scheduled to come on in different spots periodically throughout the day. Just after the sprinklers stopped on these leaves in the front yard, I took a photo of the droplets.

Bonus photos:

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1. Mrs. Bluebird posing for the camera on top of the bluebird box
2. one random leaf – changing color.

I’m not caught up yet, but yesterday I took a sunrise photo walk along Folly Field Beach, and I think I’ll devote an entire entry to that… So — til next time…!


I’ve noticed tonight that I got an unusual amount of hits on my blog from people googling about the alligator on the 15th hole at the RBC Heritage Golf Tournament today. My blog post came up for these searches because in the last entry I included Monday’s tournament photos, as well as a photo of a gator in our lagoon taken yesterday. The title of the blog “Heritage Golf Tournament — and an alligator on our lagoon” sent people who wanted to know more about today’s incident to my blog, only for them to find out nothing.

THIS is what happened, and Ray and I were there – watching from the stands across the fairway from the lagoon in question. Let’s put it this way … I could hardly watch. I couldn’t believe that Brian Gay’s caddie had the nerve to do this. Most times alligators are not aggressive, but they can be if provoked. And – what the caddie did to this gator constitutes “provocation”! I’m sure there *has* to be a rule about not having to hit a golf ball if in danger from an alligator. Here is the PGA video of it:

Oh — and Brian Gay ultimately did not hit the ball well.  He had his back to the lagoon as he was hitting, and I’m not sure I’d want that knowing a rather irritated alligator was swimming behind him!  If it were me, I’d just want that shot done and to move quickly away from that spot!

Yesterday was the first day of the annual Heritage Golf Tournament. Ray and I traditionally get tickets, and went up on the first day – just to scope it all out to see what would be there, check out the merchandise tent, have some lunch, and take photos. Cameras are only permitted prior to the actual beginning of the tournament on Thusday, so yesterday and Wednesday are my only chances. (I am not going up today). Not much was happening at the tournament itself, so most of my photos were of Harbourtown, as one walks through this “tourist town” to get to the Harbourtown clubhouse, where one enters the tournament. There are lots of shops, the harbor is full of yachts, the Harbourtown Lighthouse stands above, and of course condos surround it all.  So – today’s photo will be from our walk to the tournament. I hope that I get photos inside the tournament on Wednesday.

365 photo #100 – the marina with the Harbourtown Lighthouse in the background

Bonus photos – all photos can be clicked to see them larger in Flickr:

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1. colorful shops line the marina
2. The Liberty Oak — with seating – where there are often concerts in spring and summer
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1. Pa-li-ne – yacht – probably the largest yacht moored there. For some reason I’ve gotten a lot of hits on this blog using the search word “Pa-li-ne Hilton Head” – so this yacht has some kind of interest – though I am clueless as to why! I know nothing about it, except that it’s huge!
2. The Harbourtown Golf Links clubhouse — where you enter the tournament

The condos which surround the marina

Today Ray went up to the tournament to work at the Rotary concession booth, so I decided to stay home. Today’s photo is an alligator in our lagoon. As I was going outside to check on the Great Blue Heron nest, I heard this splash not too far from me — a young alligator (he’s not all that long) splashed back into the lagoon from where he was sunning on the bank. Alligators are to be taken very seriously. Yet — they have just as much fear of us as we do of them. He could sense my movements – even from the distance I was – and moved away.

365 photo #101

Jarvis Creek Park

I wasn’t sure what was going to happen today. After having weather in the mid 70’s for the last few days, last evening we had storms which resulted in the temperature plummeted to the mid 50’s during the day today. In addition, it was windy, and after some brief sunshine, it got cloudy and a bit raw. Ray came back from errands and suggested a walk … somewhere. With the wind and raw weather, I wasn’t in the mood for the beach – so we went to Jarvis Creek Park – which is more inland and “protected”, and would be less windy. This park has a man made lake – surrounded by areas where people can play sports, have picnics, and a path that goes all the way around the lake. It’s an area that provides a good habitat for wildlife, and often there is lots to see and photograph. Best yet – it’s barely 3 miles from our house.

I wrote about Jarvis Creek Park last year during another walk there

My 365 photo will come from this walk – a juvenile ibis. An adult ibis is pure white with the orange beak and legs. The juvenile is brownish

365 photo #56

Lots more was in the park – so there are bonus photos:

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1. This is the adult ibis
2. An alligator – who is kind of sunken into the muck along side of the lake. While I was taking the picture I wondered if there was a second gator. After I got the picture onto the computer, I saw the tail and lower end of the gator on the lower left corner of the photo. Looks like a piece of old tire to me! I was surprised to see them out, as they prefer to stay in the water when the weather is colder.

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2. An anhinga … swimming with only his neck in view. Looks like a snake – and the word “anhinga” means devil bird or “snake” bird
2. Another anhinga – perched on a branch just above the edge of the lake.

Great egret

I’ve been busy over the last three days, but the photos have been taken and it’s finally time to post.

I have so many photos to choose from for February 22nd. My childhood friend, Connie visited for a day on her way to be with her daughter and family. I cherish these visits, as we have a lot of history … good history!. We may be separated for a year (or more) at a time, but when we get together, it’s like we never were apart. Conversation flows … and, that’s an understatement! 🙂 Plus – she travels with her white lab, Maggie. I’ve never been much of a dog person, but Maggie has won over my heart, not to mention that the cats did very well with her. There were a few “fluffed up” kitty moments with minimal hissing, but it was short lived, as Maggie doesn’t chase them. They always have time to quickly retreat to the safety of “high places” in the house.

Connie has a blog, too: View from the Empty Nest. It’s full of insights — the kind that come while walking Maggie! Many are thoughts I’ve always had, but I never “thought” to “think” them! (I know — that doesn’t quite make sense…!) Check it out — it’s a good read!

On the one full day Connie was with us, we looked for “photo ops” in beautiful spots, both at home and in the neighborhood. First there were some photo ops right on our lagoon. Then we went into Whooping Crane Conservancy. After a quick lunch, we took Maggie for a walk on Boneyard beach. As we drove there, we made a stop along the side of the road where there’s another lagoon and aquatic life often hang out. As I type, I still can’t decide which photo will be chosen for this. All I know is that I will include several bonus photos!

Ok – – here we go — an alligator in the swamp inside Whooping Crane Conservancy:

365 photo #53

And — of course there will be some bonus photos:

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1. fall foliage lives on inside the Whooping Crane Conservancy…!
2. Ibis well hidden in the brush in Whooping Crane Conservancy

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1. Ibis on the lagoon at home
2. I wonder what those cormorants see??

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1. Anhinga – drying it’s wings
2. Maggie — such a sweet white lab — on the beach! 🙂

Connie left first thing the next morning – but I kind of remained sluggish, and didn’t get out for photos. Suddenly it was 10 p.m. and I hadn’t even picked up my camera – so yesterday’s photo is a wall hanging — something my son gave to me for Christmas one year. I love the haggard expression the kitty. Reminds me of me when I’m not in a good mood! 😉 When I was younger I had a photo copy of this picture taped to my refrigerator, which said “I have a handgun and PMS, any questions”. Kind of said it all!

365 photo #54

Today I looked to our cats for the photo. The weather started out ok, but it’s now reduced to rumbling thunderstorms and tornado watches…. This is Felix — “birding and squirreling” behind the draperies!:

365 photo #55

Bonus photo: On Tuesday night I won honorable mention in the camera club competition – category “windows”. It’s the first ever ribbon for me:

This isn’t the EXACT photo I submitted as it had to be resized just slightly for printing, and I enhanced the saturation a small amount, as well.

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

From Boneyard Beach, my friend and I went to Jarvis Park, which is really quite close to where I live – just across Rt. 278!.  I’ve only been there once for a picnic in May of last year.  That day was so hot that I wasn’t able to enjoy it, and have not had much interest in going back, thinking there was not much there.  Clearly I had not investigated the park further, because my friend said that it was a great place to see aquatic wildlife by the lake.  After our visit the other day, I’ll be going back again soon!  There’s a black top path that goes around the lake, giving one great views – and photo ops!

First cracker out of the box we SAW wildlife:

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1.  An Anhinga drying his wings…!

2.  An alligator is lying in among the brush along the edge of the lake.  This is the second one we saw – and this is the youngest of the two we saw.  Clearly there is no swimming in this lake, but there is kayaking.  Not sure I’m so keen on kayaking, as I don’t want to be in the same body of water as an alligator in a boat that is as tippy as a kayak!

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1.  Two wood storks that were a part of a grouping of them

2.  A turtle chilling on a mud flat thing on the lake.  They are very skittish, so you have to sneak up on them so they don’t get spooked and hop into the water!

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1.  A cormorant (I’m pretty sure) hanging out on a dock post.  I had wondered about this because I’m used to identifying cormorants by seeing them drying their wings.

2.  The lake’s edge – with either great egrets or ibis in the distance

3.  cherry blossoms!  They were in full bloom!

I am so behind!  I guess there are times when one lives life to the expense of writing about life.  However, even for a blogger, this is often a good thing, as I believe the writing will have more depth after fully immersing oneself in living.  This may be one of those times.  I have a total of 3 photo entries “backed up”, needing to be written, but time has gotten away from me.  So – let’s just start with my trip to Sea Pines…..

On Tuesday of this past week, I finally hooked up with the friend I met on Flickr, and we decided to go scout out photo ops.  Our destination:  Sea Pines, a gated community at the other end of Hilton Head from where I live.  It’s a more “public” gated community, in that it is not closed to only residents.  In other words, you get to pay $5.00 for the privilege of entering!  Yet – I don’t have to.  My community and Sea Pines have a reciprocal arrangement, so my car’s resident sticker allows me to slide on through the gate!

There’s lots to see inside — one of which is Harbourtown, where the lighthouse, shopping area, and the marina is located.  The 18th Green of the Harbourtown Golf Links is right there, too, where the Heritage Golf Tournament will be held the week after Easter.  My Flickr friend and I first went to Harbourtown to see the sights there – and catch a bite of lunch.  I didn’t take too many photos.  The brisk, unseasonably cool sea wind kind of put a damper on hanging out too long.  But, here are a few…

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1.  The lighthouse — taken from the pier
2.  Pelicans, etc. lined up – posing for me
3.  Sea gull in flight
4.  I’m not sure what kind of bird he is – but he’s cute 🙂

It was quite a windy day when we were out – – and I was surprised to see so many people kayaking on the bay

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1.  Mother / daughter (I’d guess?) kayakers
2.  Colorful kayaks lined up along the beach

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