The Food Chain (upon closer inspection)

It is interesting when one is reminded that we humans don’t necessarily sit at the top of the food chain.  I quickly remembered my place in the lineup during a recent visit to Myakka River State Park.  Cindy and I decided to kayak down the Myakka River on a beautiful afternoon as we have done before.  During a typical visit to the park you will see many alligators basking in the sun along the river’s shoreline.  Despite the concern I always feel upon first sighting them, I am constantly fascinated by their seemingly docile behavior.  Although they sport a menacing appearance we have never had any of them act aggressively toward us.  With this comforting pattern in the back of my mind this day’s paddle started off in a rather routine manner.

However, things became more interesting during one attempt to capture some of the alligator portraits you can view by clicking on the link below.   On one occasion I asked Cindy to paddle a little closer to three medium-sized alligators lounging together.  As always, they appeared extremely relaxed and could hardly pay less attention to the two humans floating ever closer in a bright orange kayak.  They stayed in their trance-like state until we apparently violated the reptilian code of personal space and the trio suddenly launched toward us at light speed.  Their ability to switch from statue to freight train in the blink of an eye was a stark reminder of just how far out of our element we would be should our fragile craft founder.  Luckily, gators seem to always flee for the water because they are afraid of humans.  At least that’s what we kept telling each other while waiting to feel a bump on the bottom of the kayak…

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimmywhitephoto/sets/72157623319226027/

5 Responses to “The Food Chain (upon closer inspection)”

  1. chad says:

    awesome story jimmy, you two are far bolder than me. stay safe.

  2. Helen says:

    Very, very nice. Glad you sent these and I have signed up for future shots. Thanks.

  3. Mel says:

    Reptilian reflexes – always a shock how fast they can move. Sort of like those warnings about grizzly bear speed we heard about but fortunately didn’t get to experience first hand.

    Will you be doing any underwater photos of the gators?