Nature photography, political rants, and Martyman laughs from the ten-time award-winning author of "Cool Creatures, Hot Planet" and "Endangered Edens."

An Alligator is Watching

Alligator Eyes

Marty’s photo of the day #1740: It’s Photos of Endangered Edens Week Pt 2, featuring pictures from my new book Endangered Edens: Exploring the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Costa Rica, the Everglades, and Puerto Rico. This short, humorous excerpt from my book explains the shot:

Most of the water I had seen up to this point had been clear, but the pond where I released the Everglades rat snake was covered with what looked like slivers of tree bark and other decomposing organic substances. On the near side of the pond, the earth rose straight up from the water, forming a one-foot-high bank. I stood on the edge of that bank and looked out over the water. On the far side were two anhingas, drying their feathers. I snapped a few photos and let my gaze fall between my legs—Alligator!

“Don’t move,” I whispered to myself.

This was perhaps the best camouflage I had ever seen. Only the top of the alligator’s head was visible, and it perfectly matched the organic flotsam. I took a deep breath and inched my camera into position. I snapped four photos. Then I leaned over the water, so I could shoot straight down on her head—splash!

With a violent flick of her tail, the alligator was gone.

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