Photography by Jim Doty

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We crossed a small bank by a narrow and slow moving stream and saw lots of baby gators scurry away.  We immediately looked around for the mother and couldn't see her. We didn't want to be between her and her young.

My friend Dave and I walked from his home in Winter Springs, Florida to a nearby nature preserve.  In two and one half hours we saw a pileated woodpecker feeding her young, herons and other wading birds, 3 river otters, lots of lizards and a mother alligator and her young. Most common were the green anoles. One of them chose to pose rather than scurry away like most of the others.

Then a dark form slowly rose from the deep pool in the middle of the stream.  We watched her carefully. She was virtually motionless near the surface. Using 100 speed slide film, I photographed her at f/5.6 and a shutter speed of about 1/2 second with fill flash to put a catch light in her eye. The camera and 400mm lens was on a tripod.

My favorite photo of the day was also the most difficult. A green anole cast its shadow on a palmetto frond.  The shutter speed was fairly long so a tripod was necessary. I would set up my tripod and just about be ready and the anole would move.  I would have to set up the shot again. It was hot and humid and sweat kept dripping down my face and getting in my eyes.  I made several shots that proved to be disappointing but persistence finally paid off with the shot at the left.

Large version of the anole photos
Large version of the
alligator photo

June 6, 2001

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