Let's have a photo tour - adventure to see the alligators and some of the wildlife you can expect to see when you visit one of the Tampa Bay Area's best kept secrets - Sawgrass Lake - Nature Park.
This post is part five in my Sawgrass Lake Park mini series. All part of my Travel Florida - Things to do in the Tampa Bay Area - posts and photo tours.
Sawgrass Lake Park in the Tampa Bay Area in Florida is
a family friendly attraction, but
best of all it is a FREE nature park.
Perfect for an afternoon walk, don't you think?
Half the pleasure of being outdoors in a nature park
is enjoying the scenery.
That's when we spotted him - an alligator - just hanging out.
Do you see the alligator?
This is definitely a time when you want to be able to get a good shot
without getting too close to your subject.
So there he is ....
He's moving ever so slowly ..........
Zooming in for a close up.
He's got his eye on me:)
It's a gorgeous day for a walk in the park.
Different areas of the park are more or less wild,
depending on whether you take the boardwalk to the wild side
or stay near the picnic areas and well kept paths.
Here is a young Ibis looking for food.
Strolling towards one of the ponds.
An Anhinga enjoying the breeze.
Day two - of looking for alligators, I am taking a mid afternoon stroll.
I often see professional photo shoots and amateur photographers in this park.
Everyone is friendly and on more than one occasion we have engaged in conversation with complete strangers.
I admit to a bit of photo envy when I see some of the cameras and equipment.
Turtle sunning on a log,
usually there are three in the same spot, but today I see only one.
I've never seen such a variety of dragonflies.
Unfortunately, they don't stay still too long.
Of course - no nature park is complete without the resident Squirrels.
Passing by one of my favorite resting spots.
You can be sure at least one or two excited little boys or girls will come running toward you, to tell you they saw a frog or a gator or a squirrel which they already named.
Checking out the frog under the boardwalk ......
Mama duck and baby - the correct name is Common Moorhen.
Giving lip, are we?
This velvet ant (actual size) is a female wingless wasp and they have a nasty sting.
I saw him running back and forth on the handrail, glad I didn't try to touch.
I found him on the net, by looking up orange and black fuzzy ant.
The first raindrops are beginning to fall.
I run for cover when I notice another alligator in the water.
I wait out the rain in the covered lookout hut on the bridge,
keeping an eye on the gator.
When it's down to a drizzle,
I can't resist walking towards the bank where the gator is.
Look close - can you see the white spot on the right?
That is a snowy white egret fishing on the bank.
Day three ...........................
We decide to go out to eat and take a walk in the park around sunset.
It's a Friday and this is a popular park with families and dog owners alike.
This boy is hanging over the rail
like I was with my camera just a few moments ago.
See the sign above his head? Do not Feed or Molest ... the alligators.
It's amazing, you think they are still
yet, they seem to be continuously on the move.
The sun is beginning to set.
It's a lovely evening.
..... and here comes "my" gator.
I'm sure this is the same gator I saw on my first visit to this park a month ago.
Yup - this is a repeat of what I witnessed before.
That is his spot.
Yup - smiling his gator smile.
Looking mighty pleased with himself.
It is dusk and we decide to head on home.
Stop the car!
Is that an alligator?
So there you have it - alligators and wildlife at Sawgrass Lake Park!
Click here to see more Sawgrass Park posts
Stay tuned for one last post in this series about Sawgrass Lake Park.
It will be on the wildflowers and the enchanted forest.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone!
All images © 2009 Rose H.