Boney Hide of an Alligator

Submerged American Alligator showing eyes, nostrils and transverse row of epidermal scutes above the water. Middle Fork Suwannee River; Okefenokee Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia USA. October 23, 2020. ©

Paddling upstream, against a slow but constant current, the canoe run gets darker and darker. Although it is only nearing noon and night is far off, the senses are lured into believing that dusk has arrived. Little sunlight penetrates the thick vegetation. Barred Owls, typically creatures of the night, are calling aloud. Like skeletons draped in aged rags, the overhanging Cypress limbs become more and more covered with Spanish Moss until practically nothing of the host tree is visible, and it further blocks out the beams of sunlight struggling to shine through. You glide along the river in silence. Then something big and rough brushes the bottom of the kayak. No shape or figure can be seen in the tannin-stained blackwaters. Is it just the rough bark of a submerged branch? Or the boney hide of a large alligator?

  • Middle Fork Suwannee River; Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia.
  • Friday, October 23, 2020
  • Sunrise 7:04 AM, sunset 5:27 PM
  • Day length: 10 hours 20 minutes (-1 hr 8 min)
  • Temperature – high 84; low 65
  • iNaturalist observation:



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