I needed to go a little further to get a closer look and see what all the commotion was about. Once rounding the corner and walking another 20 feet or so I saw this little guy. Who would have thought he could get that other larger bird all hot under the feathers? :)
Can you say HOLY CRAP!!! (Or at least I said something to that effect, maybe not appropriate for my blog. :) ) This alligator was laying right up on the edge of the lake about 4 feet away and blended so well in all the grass that I didn't even notice him. So much for mental notes! He was easily 8-10 feet long and had some teeth that I knew could tear one of my limbs off in one chomp or drag me into the water never to be seen again. I nearly had a heart attack right then and there! After the initial shock of what I was standing right next to (mind you these are creatures of the wild in their natural habitat - not in a zoo or a cage), I gathered myself and slowly stepped away as to not startle the alligator. Phew!!! I observed him from a distance to decide whether or not it was worth it to continue on (the path I was on was only 8 feet wide with the lake on one side and the Ashley River on the other). I decided to keep plugging on. With spring and quickness in my step I got to the far side of the path and ran by. I figured that if he came after me I could probably outrun him. :) I saw many alligator out in the water and another up on the bank before I made it safely back to the car. All in all, it was a fun adventure in the name of great photos sake. Scott reminded me that it doesn't matter if you get great picutres or not if me and the camera didn't make it back to the car! So true!