(Almost) Still Waters

An alligator swims with only its head above water in the low light after sunset

The sun had set and it was getting dark, so I started to put my camera away but paused when I noticed the waters of the freshwater lagoon weren’t as quiet as they first appeared. This environmental portrait of an alligator swimming with only its head above water is one of my favorites of these magnificent creatures.

Crab Breakfast

An American alligator lurches forward and scoops up a crab from the marsh at Huntington Beach State Park in South Carolina

As the sun rose, I noticed a group of alligators in this marshy section of the freshwater lagoon at Huntington Beach State Park but didn’t realize why they were there. Then one suddenly lurched forward and scooped up a little crab from the mats of organic material (algae? bacteria?) floating in the water, and then another did it, and another. It was remarkable how quickly they would go from floating motionless to catching the crabs and back to floating motionless.

An American alligator raises its head to swallow a crab at Huntington Beach State Park in South Carolina