Gator water

April in the swamp …

Means everything is dry.

Video of an Glades gator

Except for gator holes, for now. Actually, I would be surprised to see this one go dry. It’s located in the southeastern corner of Big Cypress National Preserve which is better understood as the Everglades, and more specifically Lostmans Slough. Unlike Shark River Slough farther to the east, Lostmans is dry … except for this gator hole. As for the gator, he’s in their somewhere. My guess is under the willows.

Swamp or glades gator?
And how to tell the difference

To the undiscerning eye …

This probably looks like a glades gator.

As seen in the southeast corner of Big Cypress Nat’l Preserve

The dead giveaway is the open river of grass and the tree islands in distance (looking south), right? And for anyone who lives in the swamp (not many), they know that Big Cypress gators typically make their home a circular-shaped cypress dome or a linear swale of cypress called a strand. However, on technicality, the gator shown in the photo above is officially ruled a swamp gator for the reason its alligator hole is located in the southeast corner of Big Cypress National Preserve. That being said, I wouldn’t rule out him having cousins on the glades sides of the dotted line.

Where alligators roam
And the place they call home

Who says you don’t leave tracks in the water?

Here’s a case where a gator left a clear trail.

The path not taken

Only I never did see the gator …

Even though it looked like it had recently been there.

As seen earlier in September

Was it coming or going?

I didn’t get any closer to see. And not that the water wasn’t crystal clear. The waters of the swamp are shallow and oligotrophic, making it almost like looking through glass. At least in theory that’s the case — but not in this spot with all the duckweed on top. Could a gator be down there lying in wait? And did I say shallow? Water to the knee is deeper than it seems. And so I turned around: I’m just a visitor in a cypress dome the alligator (wherever he is) calls home.