I had no plans to go shooting today. The Texas heat is already getting to me, and it's not even officially summer yet. Maybe Tuesday, I thought. Maybe a trip back up to Hagerman NWR, even though Wildlife Drive is partly underwater.
Then Phil Plank sent me a message last night asking if I wanted to go to LLELA with him this morning to look for alligators.
Not even a hesitation.
Michael Fox took us back to the research ponds., and there one was with just his eyes and snout above water. Looked to be between four and six feet in length, and we'd heard there was a 10-footer around somewhere. More looking.
Blue Dasher can maintain this pose without beating its wings. Seems like it would require exceptional strength and balance. Or maybe not for an insect.
American Green Tree Frog sitting in a great big water lily leaf. Unfortunately, he wouldn't turn around and I wasn't about to wade out into the pond for a better angle.
Great Blue Heron was literally the only bird that didn't fly away as we walked past.
Red-winged Blackbirds a fairly drab bird. But if one's going to sit in good light and pose for me, I'm going to take her picture.
bullfrogs than others, all floating with just their eyes above water. I crept down close to the water's edge for this shot, which startled a frog sitting on the shore, who jumped and startled ME since I assumed it was an alligator about to eat me.
Eastern Pondhawk appeared to be chowing down on something, but I can't for the life of me figure out what.
We never did see any other alligators after our first one, although we did see that same alligator again later in our visit when we returned to the same pond. It wasn't interested in pictures on our second stop, dropping below the surface of the water and leaving a little trail of bubbles as it moved off. Then the bubbles stopped, and the alligator didn't resurface, and we decided to move away from that pond.
The mercury was already pretty high when we departed a little before 10 a.m. But I was glad I got in an unexpected photo walk!