a second look, adventure, attention to detail, birds, black and white, exploring new places, finding my way, Florida wildlife, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography

John Chestnut park…

I see photos from lots of photographers on my Facebook feed, and one thing that’s always mystified me was the photos of alligators at John Chestnut park. I’d never seen one there, and found myself surprised when I saw pictures of them taken there. Maybe I just chose the right day to visit, but the water levels were higher than what I thought was normal. I parked in my usual area, and walked over to the water and realized that I had a clear view across the lake, no rushes blocking my view. But it wasn’t until I looked through the camera and zoomed in that I realized that what I thought was a piece of automobile tire floating right at the shoreline was actually an alligator. A little one for sure, but closer to me than I wanted it to be. That’s the feature photo.

I walked to the left from my usual parking spot, the opposite way I usually go, and found some new scenery.
I hadn’t ever seen a Black and White Warbler on my previous visits.
He moved on in just a second.
These cuties are always there no matter which way I go. A Tufted Titmouse, so cute.
And very busy so you have to be quick.
I was walking on a boardwalk that followed the edge of the lake. I was so surprised to see this pier, I had no idea that it was there. But I wonder how I didn’t know it was there since it’s so big.
As I walked along the boardwalk I saw another small alligator in the water. Or maybe it was the same one from before. I saw that he seemed to be heading for shore, and when I walked off the boardwalk there he was, sunning himself. He looked cute there, still looking like a baby. There was a parking area close by and some people my age were getting out of their car. So I pointed to the alligator and the gentleman said, “Oh yeah, he’s always there.” All righty then.
I thought I’d head to the pond that I knew was across the parking lot to see if there might be some birds there. But I must have been destined to see alligators today because I don’t think I could have missed this one on the far shore. Definitely not a baby. A couple of young men with cameras were heading in that direction too, and they happily mentioned another spot not too far from the park that you could see alligators. Seeing them usually isn’t my goal, but of course I do take picture when I see them. I took my picture and so did they, but then they left and continued around the lake.
I waited to see if they were going to approach this alligator for photos, and sure enough, they did! I wasn’t too worried that they’d be attacked, but I did head to my car after I took this picture so that I didn’t show up in their photos. Hopefully all ended well.

When I decided to go to this park I had in mind to figure out where those alligators might be. And yes, I was walking on a new to me path for most of my time there. But I always go to that pond and I had never seen an alligator there. Let’s hope I wasn’t shooting the scenery across the water with one of them right there on the bank right in front of me.

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