Good bye Ushuaia! Next stop, Antarctica!

Hello All!

We are about to leave for the ship and begin our voyage to Antarctica! The past three days in Ushuaia have been fun exploring the town and the nature preserve behind the hotel. I took a lot of photos but did not have time to process them. Internet has been very poor and I politics that I haven’t been able to access texts, many apps and emails.  Supposedly, there is a website that allows you to track Quark Expeditions ship Kapitan Khlebnikov but I was unable to find the exact tracker to show where the ship is in the ocean. It is all wonderful though and can’t wait to share when I get back.  Stay tuned for more after October 31…

Next stop, Argentina, then Antarctica!

Antarctica journey 1

The long awaited trip to Antarctica has begun!  We are currently on our way to Orlando International Airport to fly out tonight for the long trip down to Ushuaia, Argentina, also known as the “End of the World.”  It will take us 3 flights and a bus ride between airports in Argentina to make it down there by Tuesday evening.  We will then have Wednesday, Thursday and half of Friday to explore Ushuaia while we stay at the Arakur Resort.

Antarctica journey 7.jpg

Image: A view of the Arakur Resort in Ushuaia, Argentina.  Photo borrowed from Arakur’s website: www.arakur.com

We will have an orientation with the Cheeseman’s Ecological Safari staff Thursday night and board the polar-class icebreaker Kapitan Khlebnikov Friday evening, October 19!  Below are a few photos of this ship, one from the Quark Expeditions website and the other from the Cheeseman’s website.

Antarctica journey 5

Image: A view of the icebreaker ship, Kapitan Khlebnikov.  Photo borrowed from Quark Expeditions’ website: https://www.quarkexpeditions.com/en/our-ships/kapitan-khlebnikov

I will be in a triple room with two other women from other parts of the world and we will be among 110 guests and 70 staff and crew.  There is a small indoor pool, gym, library, sauna, and theater to keep us entertained while at sea!

Antarctica journey 4

Image: A view of the icebreaker ship, Kapitan Khlebnikov.  Photo borrowed from Cheeseman’s website: https://www.cheesemans.com/trips/antarctic-snowhill-oct2018

We will then spend the next 2-3 days crossing the Drake Passage of the Southern Ocean, a 500 mile stretch between Cape Horn on the tip of South America and the South Shetland Islands in Antarctica.  This passage is renowned for having the roughest seas in the world, but sometimes ships cross the ocean without trouble. (Fingers crossed)

Antarctica journey 2

We then go by the South Shetland Islands and head into the Weddell Sea.  If you have never read Alfred Lansing’s book, Endurance, about Ernest Shackleton’s failed attempt to cross the South Pole and his ship sinking in the Weddell Sea, I highly recommend it (Maybe read it after I get back).  The ship will then head to Snow Hill Island where we will anchor, depending on ice pack and weather, and spend the next 6-7 days attempting to find and photograph the infamous Emperor Penguins.  One of the two helicopters on the ship will take us to the island where we will trek a mile across the ice fields with our gear in hopes of photographing the 4ft tall penguins with their chicks.  None of this is guaranteed and all depends on the weather, access to the island due to the movement of the ice packs, and finding the penguins themselves.

Antarctica journey 8

On October 29, we begin the heading back across the Drake passage to Ushuaia, hopefully landing back in Argentina on the morning of October 31 so that we can take flights out that same afternoon for arrival in the US on November 1.  I hope to post an update or some photos from Ushuaia, Argentina before Friday, but it will depend on WiFi and internet access at the resort.  I know for a fact that I will not have access to the internet while aboard Kapitan Khlebnikov and will post something when I return after November 1.  Please stay tuned for the adventures to come…

Cheeseman’s website: here

Quark Expeditions’ website: here

Arakur Resort’s website:here

Farewell to Greenland

Qoroq Glacier 9083 August 20, 2018

Image: Blue iceberg in Eriksfjord, Greenland. Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 24 mm, f/13, 1/125, ISO 1600, hand-held.

After the hike through Flower Valley and the climb up the mountain to Kiattut Glacier viewpoint, we boarded the zodiac for our final excursion.  Our guide Ester said she had to pick up some ice in Qoroq an hour away, and despite being exhausted from the day’s activities, we were all excited to go visit another village of Greenland.  We loved spending more time in the zodiac weaving in and out of icebergs.  We didn’t really think through what she meant by “picking up ice.”  We relaxed and enjoyed the ride.  Soon we came up to the end of a fjord and realized something wasn’t quite right.  I grabbed my camera and started shooting pictures of what we were navigating through.  In the distance, we saw another glacier!

Qoroq Glacier 8939 August 20, 2018

Image: Qoroq Glacier in Qoroq fjord, Greenland. Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 48 mm, f/14, 1/125, ISO 1000, hand-held.

We soon learned that Qoroq was the name of the fjord and of the glacier we were seeing.  It was one of the more active glaciers in the calving process of giving off icebergs.  Between the camera and my iPhone, I was trying to get both still images and video.  If you click on the video below, you can see us coming up to an iceberg!

We soon learned what Ester meant by “picking up ice!”  We watched as she used the pickaxe to break off chunks of ice and fill up metal cups.  She passed them out to each person so we could have our own personal iceberg cup.

Qoroq Glacier iphone 6140 August 20, 2018

Image: Our guide, Ester, chipping away at an iceberg, Greenland. iPhone 7 Plus, hand-held.

Then the real celebration began as Ester thanked us all and brought out the wine (and Coca-cola for the underage)!

Qoroq Glacier iphone 6147 August 20, 2018

Image: Our guide, Ester, sharing wine with us, Greenland. iPhone 7 Plus, hand-held.

I, of course, celebrated with my camera and was happy to keep shooting the scenery around us.  Here is the view opposite of the glacier from where we came.

Qoroq Glacier 9047 August 20, 2018

Image: Qoroq fjord in Eriksfjord, Greenland. Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 32 mm, f/13, 1/125, ISO 1600, hand-held.

I also wanted to zoom in to get a good look at the icebergs up close.  We bumped into this one below so I enjoyed shooting a couple images of it.

Qoroq Glacier 9021 August 20, 2018

Image: Iceberg in Qoroq fjord, Greenland. Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 27 mm, f/14, 1/125, ISO 1600, hand-held.

As we left the glacier and headed back to Qassiarsuk, our zodiac driver further treated us by going slowly around some of the huge blue icebergs.

Qoroq Glacier 9061 August 20, 2018

Image: Blue iceberg in Eriksfjord, Greenland. Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 35 mm, f/16, 1/80, ISO 1600, hand-held.

As we navigated through some of them, I was able to photograph the icebergs with  various backgrounds and angles.

Qoroq Glacier 9055 August 20, 2018

Image: Blue iceberg in Eriksfjord, Greenland. Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 24 mm, f/16, 1/80, ISO 1600, hand-held.

At one point, we came across a huge iceberg with a cave-like cavity in it.  I only captured it on video, which you can view by clicking below:

We then came across the most beautiful, almost transparent, blue iceberg that I saw on the trip.  It seemed to sparkle in the light.  I was able to capture some of the surrounding mountains to contrast against the texture and color of the iceberg.

Qoroq Glacier 9120 August 20, 2018

Image: Blue iceberg in Eriksfjord, Greenland. Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 48 mm, f/14, 1/125, ISO 2000, hand-held.

As we floated by it, I took some broadside shots to isolate it with the sky and water.

Qoroq Glacier 9110 August 20, 2018

Image: Blue iceberg in Eriksfjord, Greenland. Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 66 mm, f/14, 1/125, ISO 1600, hand-held.

As we finished up the tour and headed back to our lodging in Qassiarsuk, we said one final goodbye to the area and enjoyed the view.

Qoroq Glacier 9080 August 20, 2018

Image: Blue iceberg in Eriksfjord, Greenland. Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 24 mm, f/13, 1/125, ISO 1600, hand-held.

We were very pleased with this outfitter and their efforts to make up the two days we lost due to the flight cancellations.  They were very conscious of the environment and ensured that we did not leave a trace and had as minimal impact on the land as possible. The owner, Ramón Hernando de Larramendi, is a famous Spanish explorer who came up with the Wind Sled as a means to travel across polar environments.  I mentioned to him the possibility of working with me to put together a photography-based tour of some of the locations we visited (without the strenuous marathon running or mountain climbing), and he was very interested.  If you are interested in this for August/September 2019, please send me an email at amy_novotny@yahoo.com.

To see these images individually and more that were not included here, please visit my gallery here: Amy’s Impressions

Inlandis–Greenland’s Polar Ice Cap!

Flower Valley Mountain 8810 August 20, 2018

Image: Kiattut Glacier in South Greenland. Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 32 mm, f/16, 1/200 sec, ISO 400, hand-held.

When we climbed the mountain that overlooked Flower Valley, South Greenland as described in my last post (Hike through Flower Valley), we had another special treat awaiting us.  Our guide, Ester, wouldn’t tell us where we were going so we happily followed her, as she had yet to disappoint us. We hiked along the top of the mountain a short distance and came to this beautiful lake where we stopped for a snack break.

Flower Valley Mountain 8687 August 20, 2018

Image: Mountain top lake in South Greenland. Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 24 mm, f/13, 1/160 sec, ISO 200, hand-held.

We then proceeded along a narrow path on the left side of the lake heading towards the saddle straight ahead with some mountains in the far distance.  We could sense the excitement in Ester as we got closer.  She told us it was one of her favorite views of the trip.

Flower Valley Mountain 8667 August 20, 2018

Image: Our group hiking along a mountain top lake in South Greenland. Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 45 mm, f/13, 1/160 sec, ISO 200, hand-held.

As we climbed the last section, I was ready with my camera.  We were practically speechless at the sight before us: Kiattut Glacier!  It was nestled in the mountains and extended as far as the eye could see.  We also saw the other end of it as it was melting into a glacial river.

Flower Valley Mountain 8832 August 20, 2018

Image: Kiattut Glacier in South Greenland. Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 32 mm, f/16, 1/200 sec, ISO 400, hand-held.

I was fascinated by the texture of the glacier and the lines formed by the weather’s effect on the top surface. We didn’t have time to climb down to the edge of the glacier, so I changed my lens to a medium telephoto and  zoomed in to see more detail.

Flower Valley Mountain 8764 August 20, 2018

Image: Kiattut Glacier in South Greenland. Nikon D750, Nikkor 70-200 mm at 125 mm, f/11, 1/400 sec, ISO 200, hand-held.

When the clouds cleared in the far distance, we had another special treat: Inlandis!  As you can see in the image below, there is a white snowy area above the mountaintops that  was our peek of Greenland’s Polar Ice Cap! What a beautiful and amazing sight!

Flower Valley Mountain 8780 August 20, 2018

Image: Inlandis and Kiattut Glacier in South Greenland. Nikon D750, Nikkor 70-200 mm at 180 mm, f/13, 1/320 sec, ISO 200, hand-held.

After a nice picnic lunch break and plenty of time for some photos, we headed back but took an alternate route around one of the mountain tops that led us to a little pond with some interesting plant life.

Flower Valley Mountain 8841 August 20, 2018

Image: Mountain top pond in South Greenland. Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 70 mm, f/13, 1/125 sec, ISO 400, hand-held.

We then went alongside the opposite bank of the lake described above and I was able to capture the lake and the glacier in one image.

Flower Valley Mountain 8876 August 20, 2018

Image: Mountain top lake in South Greenland. Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 42 mm, f/16, 1/160 sec, ISO 400, hand-held.

Just before we headed back down the mountain to return to Flower Valley, I turned around for a last shot of this beautiful lake and scene.  It will be forever seared into my memory.

Flower Valley Mountain 8885 August 20, 2018

Image: Mountain top lake in South Greenland. Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 24 mm, f/16, 1/200 sec, ISO 400, hand-held.

To see these images individually and more that were not included here, please visit my gallery here: Amy’s Impressions

Hike through Flower Valley

Flower Valley 8456 August 20, 2018

Image: Flower Valley, South Greenland; Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 24 mm, f/16, 1/200 sec, ISO 400, hand-held.

As we prepare for our final week in Florida before heading to Argentina and Antarctica next week, I wanted to post a few more photos of Greenland on our last day of adventuring in that country.  We were transported by zodiac from Qassiarsuk to Narsarsuaq and then by vehicle to the end of a dirt road.  From there, we found a trail that led us into the mountains.  We hiked for a couple miles on fairly easy terrain and went over a hill to see the valley shown in the image below.

Flower Valley 8373 August 20, 2018

Image: Flower Valley, South Greenland; Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 24 mm, f/16, 1/160 sec, ISO 400, hand-held.

We were shocked by the beauty of Flower Valley and excited to be hiking into it.  Far off in the distance on the right of the image, you can see the white streak of a waterfall that was our destination (although we didn’t know it at the time).  We followed the path down into the valley and crossed over a stream, enjoying the clouds passing by the mountain tops.

Flower Valley 8394 August 20, 2018

Image: Flower Valley, South Greenland; Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 50 mm, f/16, 1/160 sec, ISO 400, hand-held.

We then hiked into the valley itself and found the area known for its wildflowers at this time of year.  We saw our first tree of the trip as well.

Flower Valley 8437 August 20, 2018

Image: Flower Valley, South Greenland; Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 62 mm, f/16, 1/160 sec, ISO 400, hand-held.

With the beautiful muted light, I wanted to capture all of the colors of this field, so I knelt down and zoomed in solely on the field.  Unfortunately, I did not have time to photograph the flower species individually as I was already the last person in the group, stopping every few feet to photograph.  🙂

Flower Valley 8925 August 20, 2018

Image: Flower Valley, South Greenland; Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 55 mm, f/14, 1/160 sec, ISO 640, hand-held.

We then approached the glacial river and hiked alongside it for a mile or so.  We initially climbed over rocky terrain that wasn’t too hard to negotiate with a camera.  The waterfall that I mentioned above was getting closer, as you can see on the righthand side of the image below.

Flower Valley 8460 August 20, 2018

Image: Flower Valley, South Greenland; Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 24 mm, f/16, 1/200 sec, ISO 400, hand-held.

With the light reflecting off the water, I stopped frequently to take photographs, changing what was in the foreground and background.  The colors in the mountains and cliffs varied greatly and I wanted to capture it all.

Flower Valley 8469 August 20, 2018

Image: Flower Valley, South Greenland; Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 45 mm, f/16, 1/200 sec, ISO 400, hand-held.

As soon as we climbed to the top of the rocky section, I was able to capture the whole view of the river and the rest of the valley.

Flower Valley 8492 August 20, 2018

Image: Flower Valley, South Greenland; Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 24 mm, f/16, 1/200 sec, ISO 400, hand-held.

At times, I zoomed in further to eliminate any foreground elements.  I wanted to focus on the glacial stream and the surrounding mountains, thereby simplifying the image.

Flower Valley 8501 August 20, 2018

Image: Flower Valley, South Greenland; Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 60 mm, f/16, 1/200 sec, ISO 400, hand-held.

After we climbed the rocky section, the ground changes, as we began seeing more lichen and low lying plants along with a gravel-type of substrate.  They added another layer of color so I included them in the foreground in some images.

Flower Valley 8510 August 20, 2018

Image: Flower Valley, South Greenland; Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 29 mm, f/16, 1/200 sec, ISO 400, hand-held.

We continued across the flat land towards the waterfall.  We knew we would be taking a snack break when we got to the base of it but we didn’t know our full plan for the day.

Flower Valley 8553 August 20, 2018

Image: Hiking to a waterfall in Flower Valley, South Greenland; Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 324 mm, f/16, 1/200 sec, ISO 400, hand-held.

We soon learned that we would be climbing to the top of that mountain just to the left of this beautiful waterfall!  In the image above, there is a red speck about 1/3 of the way up the mountain just to the left of the center of the image.  That person hiking gives perspective on how tall this mountain was!  It took us a good hour to climb to the top and we went very slowly, single file, with our guide pausing at times to ensure we made it past some slippery parts.  The reward was worth it!

Flower Valley 8601 August 20, 2018

Image: Flower Valley from a mountain top, South Greenland; Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 35 mm, f/16, 1/200 sec, ISO 400, hand-held.

We were able to get a nice view of Flower Valley from the top.  In the image above, the path we hiked over the first hill can be seen in the upper left (light brown hiking trails over a green hill).  The fields of flowers are visible in the red section just below that path, followed by the rocky climb and the fields of yellow low-lying ground cover.

For all of the images, I typically used an aperture of f/16 since I wanted the foreground and background in focus with a larger depth of field.  Since the light was bright but muted, an ISO of 400 worked well to keep my shutter speed around 1/160-1/200 for hand-held shots.

To see these images individually and more that were not included here, please visit my gallery here: Amy’s Impressions

 

 

 

 

Bald Eagles Nesting

Bald Eagle 7568 September 29, 2018

Image: Bald Eagle taking off, Sarasota, Florida. Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500 at 500 mm, f/6.3, 1/1600 sec, ISO 400, hand-held.

Since I was a child, I have always been drawn to bald eagles for their beauty and grace as they soar through the sky.  When I was told that there was a pair nesting nearby in Sarasota, I was eager to head out to photograph them one morning with Leslie and another photographer friend, Roxana.

Bald Eagle 7551 September 29, 2018

Image: Bald Eagle on its nest, Sarasota, Florida. Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500 at 500 mm, f/6.3, 1/1600 sec, ISO 400, hand-held.

When we arrived, one eagle was on the nest while the other was hiding behind some branches.  There was not much activity for awhile, but we waited patiently and the eagle on the nest began calling out with a high-pitch screech.

Bald Eagle 7446 September 29, 2018

Image: Bald Eagle calling, Sarasota, Florida. Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500 at 500 mm, f/6.3, 1/2000 sec, ISO 800, hand-held.

This seemed to wake up both of the birds and soon one of them flew off the branch, grabbing needles from the pine tree in its talons as it began its quest for nest building materials.

Bald Eagle 7492 September 29, 2018

Image: Bald Eagle taking off, Sarasota, Florida. Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500 at 500 mm, f/6.3, 1/2000 sec, ISO 800, hand-held.

I didn’t know much about the nesting season in Florida since I was only familiar with the life cycle in Arizona.  I have since learned that Florida has one of the densest populations of bald eagles in the lower 48 states with approximately 1500 nesting pairs.  They typically begin nest building in the fall and lay 1-3 eggs in December to early January.  Roxana had been watching this pair now over several days and was beginning to become familiar with their habits.

Bald Eagle 7490 September 29, 2018

Image: Bald Eagle taking off, Sarasota, Florida. Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500 at 500 mm, f/6.3, 1/2000 sec, ISO 800, hand-held.

The eagle we saw leave the tree quickly flew by the top of another tree and grabbed ahold of one of the top dead-looking branches.  It continued flying and snapped off the branch, carrying the whole thing with it as it flew back towards the nest.

Bald Eagle 7507 September 29, 2018

Image: Bald Eagle flying with nesting material, Sarasota, Florida. Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500 at 500 mm, f/6.3, 1/2000 sec, ISO 800, hand-held.

Unfortunately, during one of its turns in the sky, it lost the branch. It didn’t retrieve it and instead headed back to the nest without any vegetation.

Bald Eagle 7527 September 29, 2018

Image: Bald Eagle taking off, Sarasota, Florida. Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500 at 500 mm, f/6.3, 1/2000 sec, ISO 800, hand-held.

We were hoping for some more nest building activity similar to what Roxana had seen in previous mornings; however, our entertainment was short-lived.  After this one flight of collecting nesting material, one of the eagles flew off and did not return.  Shortly thereafter, the second flew away.

Bald Eagle 7567 September 29, 2018

Image: Bald Eagle taking off, Sarasota, Florida. Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500 at 500 mm, f/6.3, 1/1600 sec, ISO 400, hand-held.

We guessed that the eagles left their nest in search of food, as their nests are typically within 2 miles of water to allow them to hunt for fish and waterfowl.  We waited around for another 20 minutes before leaving since the raptors had not returned.

For my camera settings, I chose the typical f/6.3 for aperture since the birds were far away.  I wanted a fast shutter speed of 1/1600-1/2000 for the birds in flight and possibly could have gone even faster when they took off.  My ISO was adjusted to 400 to 800 to ensure that I exposed correctly for the white head without blowing out the highlights.  It was a fun quick shoot and I hope to go back for more!

For more information on Florida’s bald eagle population, please click: here

Momma’s Watchful Eye

Myakka alligator 7383 September 28, 2018

Image: American alligator baby, Myakka River State Park, Florida.  Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500 mm at 500 mm, f/11, 1/640 sec, ISO 800, hand-held.

While spending some time with Leslie and Albert in Sarasota, Florida over the weekend, I was interested in photographing any wildlife that we could find in Myakka River State Park.  Leslie and I went there the first morning and she took me to the bird walk since I had been photographing birds for the past week.  I gave her a few tips on what I look for when shooting head shots, but we only saw a couple birds with busy backgrounds.  We drove back towards the main road and stopped at a couple egrets.  We photographed them for a few minutes and then I glanced down and saw what looked like some big yellow and black lizards of some sort.  Since I am from a desert environment and not fully knowledgeable of all the reptile species in Florida, I started to tell Leslie about the “lizards” on a culvert and looked up to see this face about 2 feet away from the culvert!

Myakka alligator 7304 September 28, 2018

Image: American alligator mother, Myakka River State Park, Florida.  Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500 mm at 500 mm, f/11, 1/320 sec, ISO 800, hand-held.

At the time, I didn’t put two and two together since I hadn’t looked closely at the “lizards.”  I thought this alligator might be coming up for lunch and I was too busy trying to get a photograph of her in the harsh sunlight since she was only 5 feet away from us.  When I started looking closer, I realized that the “lizards” were actually baby alligators!  I confirmed that with Leslie who had already figured out the situation.  I was beyond excited to see this and my attention turned to the babies!

Myakka alligator 9361 September 28, 2018

Image: American alligator babies, Myakka River State Park, Florida.  Nikon D750, Nikkor 200-500 mm at 500 mm, f/14, 1/250 sec, ISO 800, hand-held.

Since they were so close to us, it was hard to capture them all in focus.  I pulled out my tripod and did several images of focusing at various distances to attempt focus stacking with the images later in Photoshop, but these little guys moved too much.  It was also difficult because of all the vegetation around the area.  I tried reaching over to move some branches from our view, but momma gator came up to the edge of the culvert.  The babies jumped into the water and swam around but soon came back to sun themselves.  At one point, I counted 18 babies in this area!

Myakka alligator 7289 September 28, 2018

Image: American alligator mother and babies, Myakka River State Park, Florida.  Nikon D500, Nikkor 70-200 mm at 80 mm, f/22, 1/100 sec, ISO 500, on tripod.

They were quite beautiful up close through the lens and were very agile in the water.  I read up on them on our drive back and learned that American alligators lay 35-50 eggs in a nest along the shore of a waterway in late June and early July.   She covers up the nest with vegetation while they incubate for about 65 days.  When she hears them making noises from inside the eggs, she removes the top layer of vegetation to allow them to hatch.  They are typically 6-8 inches long at birth so I estimated that these babies were probably a couple weeks or so old.

Myakka alligator 9349 September 28, 2018

Image: American alligator baby, Myakka River State Park, Florida.  Nikon D750, Nikkor 200-500 mm at 400 mm, f/14, 1/250 sec, ISO 800, hand-held.

They were quite active and moved around a lot during the time we spent watching and photographing them.

Myakka alligator 7324 September 28, 2018

Image: American alligator baby, Myakka River State Park, Florida.  Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500 mm at 500 mm, f/11, 1/500 sec, ISO 800, hand-held.

We saw them swimming in the open water, hiding among the shrubbery both in and out of the water, climbing onto the culvert, jumping off the culvert into momma’s face and climbing on top of each other.

Myakka alligator 7338 September 28, 2018

Image: American alligator baby, Myakka River State Park, Florida.  Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500 mm at 500 mm, f/11, 1/640 sec, ISO 800, hand-held.

It was sad to think that 80% of these babies would be lost to other predators.

Myakka alligator 7404 September 28, 2018

Image: American alligator baby, Myakka River State Park, Florida.  Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500 mm at 500 mm, f/11, 1/640 sec, ISO 800, hand-held.

Despite having harsh sunlight, we still had fun photographing this alligator pod.  We attempted to find the nest the next day, but a storm overnight had caused the water in the area to rise at least 2-3 feet and the alligators had moved on.  Luckily, we had some evidence of this special little family.

More information on American alligators: Here