We haven’t seen this big gator for awhile. It used to sun on huge tree logs partially submerged in the creek, camouflaged in color and texture until one came upon it. Usually, it detected the paddler first, which resulted in a huge splash.
Do alligators recognize difference in boats, paddlers, style of splash? As our trips continued, the big one got less skittish and was less likely to immediately depart into the brown waters. The juveniles are curious — they seem not to be afraid, more curious. One can take good close-up photos and they usually remain in place to be photographed.
One doesn’t get too close to big ones — out of respect for their sense of territory (the females have less tolerance on that score than males, apparently) and the danger a sudden immersion into deep water can do to a kayak. This one, this time, waited a long time before it slowly slid into the water.
Meanwhile further upstream, a familiar alligator was sunning on a less camouflaged bank, enjoying the sun and allowing one to get closer to photograph it.
Since 2012 we have seen more alligators on the creek each year.