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Got a good reason For taking the easy way out




A Reptilian Morning

So, I logged in today, and clicked "new post" to begin writing something. I wasn't sure just what to write! I'll wing it...

Yesterday, I drove back to the islands. It was such a beautiful morning. Clear skies, comfortable temperatures [mid 60s when I left home], and drier air without heavy humidity. I was ready to walk the boardwalk along Charlie's Pasture. Upon arriving I parked at my first stop. Luckily, I was the only one there at that hour. NICE! And quiet. I had the refuge all to myself; along with the birds singing and the gentle sea breeze blowing. Did I say it was quiet? Indeed...and just like I like it. I stopped to investigate this little marked cache before entering the area of the marsh. It was surrounded by broken branches and under some rock was a written notice...


Leonabelle Turnbull Wildlife Refuge

...it states "Red Eared Slider Nest" Now, if you aren't sure what a "red eared slider" is...it's a turtle. These turtles are VERY common around South Texas. Everywhere there is water [mostly the murky water], there are red-eared sliders. I photograph them often. In fact just days prior to seeing this at the refuge, I took a series of three photos at a city park lake in town...


One, I noticed had its head above the water, only to dive under all too quickly. But I got a photo of it anyway...


Lakeview Park

Once I checked out the out-cropping of the Willow Trees for migrant birds and saw nothing eye catching, I continued along the paved sidewalk to the boardwalk and open pond. Red Winged Blackbirds sang to me as I checked from side to side for any activity. I spotted more hatchlings and their parents, all in search for the morning meal. I could see large fish swimming. In the reed grasses [cat tail] I could hear different species of birds cackling, calling, and chirping. Arriving at the observation tower, I saw a neotropic cormorant swimming with the morning sun shining on it. Off in the distance, the one female alligator [named Bags as in alligator purse] was lazily stretched out to its full length, sunning.



As I was focusing on it, I noticed through the viewfinder, she was beginning to raise its head from the water....which can only mean one of two things [maybe both]. She was getting ready to bellow and do a head slap! If you've ever heard an alligator bellow, you know it can be a hair raising thrill. Well, there was no bellow, but a loud clap as she brought her head down against the water's surface. This action is for a purpose...it lets other alligators nearby know where they are. A call so to speak. It can also be part of the mating ritual, but the 2nd, larger, alligator wasn't close. At least I couldn't find it. BUT...soon after the head slap, he [named Boots, as in alligator footwear] shows up!!


"Here I am! Come here, come here!"


"On second thought...go away, go away!"


...to be continued? Maybe?



22 comments :

  1. OMG these are FANTASTIC... I love the EYE on the slider and the EYE on the gator and the big smile on the face of the other. AWESOME PICS waiting to see what is next... don't make me wait to long please

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  2. Hello, I love the Slider turtles. The gators are so cool, love the last shot. Enjoy your Thursday!

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    1. Thanks....hope you'll have a grand holiday weekend coming up Eileen.

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  3. You were in the right place at the right time! I am intimidated by those huge alligators, Anni, but the slider turtle is just delightful. Great shots, and I learned something. :-)

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    1. I truly keep my distance from those alligators too.

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  4. How exciting to see the alligator activities! You MUST visit there again soon to continue the story of alligator love! The sliders are sweet and I love turtles. Thanks for nice shots!

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    1. No alligator love...I was sidetracked. lol

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  5. Love your shots of that Red Eared Slider, and the Alligator too. I have so many posts still to do, waiting in the wings! :-) I'm glad I was ahead of the game before my camera battery died...have to order one asap!

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    1. Oh I get so frustrated with batteries .... they die in the most cases of missing some great photos!!!

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  6. Your last picture is unusual and fabulous!! Seeing him from front to back, and he is looking right at us! All his points and ridges sticking up out of the water. I didn't know about the head slaps. Love the cute head shot of the swimming turtle! And I CAN see his red ears.

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    1. Yes, you can see the red ear...I hadn't notices. I kept watching his eye so I could get it fully opened in the photo.

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  7. Wonderful shots. Love the one 9f the slider with it's head out of the water.

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    1. Isn't that cool...with its eye? Thanks Ann.

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  8. These are all wonderful photos! I wouldn't want to get to close to that gator though!

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    1. I was many, many feet away...up a lot higher too...it's all thanks to my zoom lens.

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  9. Wow! Truly amazing pictures. Wishing you a nice weekend.

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    1. Thank you...same to you Mildred.

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  10. Loved your travels today and pics... we have alligators here in our lake, and I remain to have a healthy respect. That front head shot was amazing. I trust you weren't too close!

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    1. That was with my zoom lens, and atop the observation tower. Nope, not at all close. I keep my distance.

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