Okefenokee Baby Alligator Pod

Pod of baby American Alligators hiding under yellow bonnet lily pads in the Okefenokee Swamp. Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia USA. March 12, 2015. ©www.williamwisephoto.com. Please don’t steal my images. Download and use legally at Dreamstime.com.

Thursday, 10:21 AM – After a slow paddle a few miles up the Suwannee Middle Fork canoe trail from Billy’s Lake, the overhanging cypress and moss curtains pulled off a bit and the channel opened to blue sky. The waterway became filled with vibrant green lily pads and the floating spatterdock “gater taters” tricked our eyes into thinking we were surrounded by alligators.

But soon enough, a juvenile gator caught my eye floating on a piece of rotting wood. Sitting up straight in my canoe, my eyes began to scan back and forth in the vegetation. Almost immediately I caught another glimpse of bright black and yellow stripes. An even smaller gator lay nearby. This was a true baby; probably a recent hatchling of less than 12 inches long. I pointed him out to my daughter who shared my excitement.

Knowing there had to be more, we searched and to the right, about ten feet away, there were two more… then three… then ten! With joy we began pointing out each and counting. As we pulled in our bark and parked upon the lily pads, we found more than fifteen in various poses on the lily pads and grasses.

-Excerpt from my Okefenokee nature journal, March 12, 2015.

iNaturalist observation: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/30037413

Published by William Wise

Hi, I’m conservation photographer and nature writer William Wise. Nature journaling and wildlife photography has been a favorite pastime since the ‘90s. I graduated from University of Georgia Warnell Forestry School's wildlife program in 1996. I'm currently an animal shelter manager/photographer and reside in Athens, Georgia, USA with my wife and two teenage daughters. My website www.williamwisephoto.com is a wildlife and birding photo website documenting the beauty, design and wonder of creation. I have a deep love of the Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia. I became a devoted Christian in 1993 under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation. I am also a guest author at Lee's Birdwatching Adventures and The Creation Club. The theme of my blogging comes from The Message version of Psalms 104 -- "What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, You made earth overflow with your wonderful creations."

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