“A wise old owl lived in an oak;
The more he saw the less he spoke;
The less he spoke the more he heard...
Why can't we all be like that bird?”
― Edward Hersey Richards




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'Tis the Season...FOREPLAY

Foreplay*, yes. And the ritual may last for days, weeks!!


While a lot of America is still 'basking' in a blanket of snowbanks and drifts, we here in the Coastal area of Texas are seeing signs of Spring. Leaf buds are showing up on the pecan tree, my amaryllis, gardenia, hibiscus, duranta are showing new growth/blossoms in the backyard flowerbed... I've noticed a lot of .... let's say.... different activity going on around my frequent birding haunts. There are some tantalizing gestures and playful [serious?] interest in the opposite sex. No mating yet [that should be late March thru the following months], but lots of vocal foreplay... and one day this past week, we could watch the goings-on and witness it all, with a touch of visual aide - the the bubbling gesture prior to their conversations.

Normally, I don't hold too much interest in the 'gators when I arrive at the pond. Yet, on this morning, the male AND female were calling out to each other...a deep-throated bellow that echoes across the water. Picture it... It all began in the early morning silence when two shadowing, slithering, forms drifted effortlessly across the muddy water surface...breaking the hush-hush of the 'dead air' with a clamorous roar coming from over yonder, and the typical head raising gestures!!











...then, as the female showed very little interest, silence once again was the norm, she left the area....coming ever so closer to us who watched in hopes of another encounter with the male.   The golden-eyed female settled just feet away from us in the murky water. And then, this time it's her turn, she called to her chosen mate. In order to converse, alligators use their front feet as an air pump...they paddle the surface, notice the bubbly water surrounding their mid-body section; filling their lungs with air, to release the sound through their closed jaw; exhaling through the razor sharp teeth crevices...





...Being ever so stealthy, the brown-eyed male drifted effortlessly through an open channel in the reed [cattail] to reach his girlfriend! She made her move, getting closer to him, all the while he kept his chocolate brown eye on her and she approached; advancing to his side!!





Pumping air into his lungs to release his bellering call and exposing his massive teeth, he remained near by her...




....only to quickly quiet down and settle side-by-side to await another day, another encounter!! We humans left in the quietude of their resting period as well as wildlife resumed its natural activities now that the silence once again prevailed.




*Oftentimes I've wondered why there are no little ones around. Well, nature takes its own course here also. There are eggs to consider with wildlife other than the 'gators themselves who are known cannibalistic in the scheme of life [eating both eggs AND their young]. Read about the control of over population with nature's own course HERE

46 comments :

  1. Some Alligator Barry White love singing going on!

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  2. great pics, but scary creatures! they were everywhere in Florida!
    have a great week!

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    1. Yes, they can be scary I agree Marie

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  3. Wow! I never expected to learn about alligator sex as a Valentine treat! Oh my, Anni. This was unforgettable. Spring is spring up here, too. I heard a robin the other day! :-)

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    1. I can only imagine how treacherous and lethal sex could be with a partner like these two.

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  4. I love this ancient longlife creature. He is so calm and natural in his danger.

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    1. Sophie, thanks...but I can't find but a 'solar movie' data base website for your blog?!!!

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  5. It's so exciting when rebirth begins anew!

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  6. absolutely AWESOME photos of these amazing and scary gators.. thanks for the link to the sound. I have heard them roar really loud at one of our parks and a friend lives on the head of the Myakka river, and when they mate it shatters the peaceful nights. she also lost a couple of dogs to them during mating season... great post

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    1. Oh that's sad to lose a pet from an alligator attack!!!

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    1. They're so ugly only a mother could love [to eat 'em] they make an interesting subject.

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  8. Wonderful photos...lucky you!! This is a great post! Thank you! Have a grand week!

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  9. Either you have a good lens to zero in on these fellas, or you were a bit too close for comfort. Thanks for the lesson today!

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    1. I do have a zoom, but both of them were VERY close to the railing that day.

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  10. Wow - gorgeous shots.

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    1. Thanks....glad you liked them.

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  11. Stopping in via the Crafty Green Poet. I LOVE your owl sketch avatar and header, well done.

    I just shared several owl items that I love at my review blog, that's why I zeroed in on your blog avatar today. :-)

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    1. I'm sure glad you stopped by. I love the owl cosmetic bag.

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  12. Amazing!! Terrific captures as always!! This is the only way I want to see alligators!!!

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    1. I don't mind them much, as long as they respect me as much as I do them...if they were, on the other hand, chasing me for their lunch, they'd be slipping in my poo!!!

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  13. Wow! These are terrific photos of the gator. Really nice detail.

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  14. Great photos, that must really be an amazing sight to see!

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    1. It is a sight...can be a bit intimidating at times tho.

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  15. "Oh what large and beautiful teeth you have, sir!" "The better to bite your neck later on, my dear."
    Nature is GRAND! Watch out - he has his eye on YOU.

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    1. Oh not only playing around, but I'm sure ALL of us was being watched!!!

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  16. Oh my gosh those incredible photos, my what big teeth you have and then followed by my what BIG eyes you have. So delightful, just as your play on words with your title, (love that always) and of course that owl in the beginning, what a cute pose! Enjoy your week and thanks for such a delightfully fun and upbeat post! I really needed it.

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    1. I am glad to accommodate you having fun when you visit Karen. lol

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  17. Well Captain and Tennille sang about muskrat love. I wonder if they should write another song about gator love. These pictures are fascinating. They sure do have some big pearly whites.

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    1. I can't figure out how the teeth remain so clean?----must be the BONES they crush when dining out.

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  18. they are quite toothy and in a way very beautiful. great shots

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    1. I'm not sure I see much beauty....but 'in the eyes of the beholder'

      Thanks Felicia

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  19. That is so cool!!!!
    (ツ) from Cottage Country Ontario , ON, Canada!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed this post Jennifer.

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  20. Oh my gosh I love this post so much! When I saw 'gator love' on Michelle's linkup, I knew it had to be you ... I'm so glad to know I'm not the only one who finds them fascinating! We do see baby gators all the time (in later spring).they are cute, with red stripes , and the mamas take very good care of them.

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    1. In the decade we've lived here, and gone to Port A and seeing the 'gators, I've NEVER seen babies.

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  21. That was really interesting! What good timing for you to see (and hear) this!

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    1. It was phenomenal that I must say. Thanks Mari

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  22. Thanks for sharing. We don't have gators here.

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  23. Gosh this is amazing. Fabulous photos and interesting write up. Makes our trip to Ardingly Reservoir to try to see Grebes dance very very tame and boring.

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    1. Not at all....If you know me....I'd much RATHER B BIRDIN'.

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