Olympus OM-10, handheld
Vivitar 75-260 at 260mm
Kodak Gold 400
Exposure unrecorded

First of many
monochrome American alligator Alligato mississippiensis

My very first wild alligator picture, I believe. I lived in North Carolina at the time, and was raised in New York, so reptiles like this are a bit unreal to encounter in the wild. Makes me realize what a tame world we live in anymore.

But they're relatively common in Florida, where this was taken, and moreover I was looking for them on this trip. This was spotted through a break in the bushes in the 'Ding' Darling Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island, a big favorite for wildlife photographers the world over. Not very big as far as gators go, but I was excited, and happy to have an acceptable composition given all the variables. You'll notice the leaves way out of focus in the foreground. I was on tiptoe and stretched out awkwardly to get this shot.

Another color original (and one that decorated my walls for years), but I like the effect in B&W too.