Alligators are natural inhabitants of Florida's damp and wet places, which means you may see them almost anywhere, from golf courses to swimming pools, rivers, swamps and even crossing roads. Although alligators do venture into brackish water they are seldom seen in salt water, the habitat for the Florida crocodile. Here are some images from the Myakka River, a state park which boasts the densest population of alligators in the whole of USA.
Roland and I discuss whether we can see an alligator behind a fallen tree... but as we draw closer we realize the fallen tree is an alligator
Kristin photographs from a safe distance
There is something very powerful about a large alligator... it appears slow and sleepy yet it can erupt into a lightning chase after a deer or a dog when the opportunity arises.
White ibis shelter in a tree well away from snapping jaws.
We surprise an alligator sunning itself on a mud bank
... and it launches itself slowly into the water, gradually submerging into deeper water...
Fresh grasses hide the haul-out places used by alligators
Arriving at the lower lake
Creeping back upstream we keep our eyes on either bank watchful for hidden alligators