This morning I wanted to get footage of ospreys catching fish to complete the episode on raptors. I found some ospreys but most of them were sitting on power lines and that's no good. Another was eating a fish on a power pole. I got footage of them but ideally I wanted them on more natural things like a dead tree limb. They weren't catching fish either. They weren't even trying. I saw several and they were all just sitting there. I'm not really sure what they were waiting for so I moved on to other areas.
I headed east toward Mosquito lagoon and decided to look for ospreys over there. There were a few but they were grounded as well. During the quest after fishing ospreys I came across the most benevolent alligator. Okay, he was about as benevolent as an alligator can be I guess. This alligator had a lot of character. It was scarred sporadically from head to tail. The tail was heavily scarred compared to the rest of the body. The tip of its upper jaw was missing, which made it look like he had a severe under bite. He was kind of funny looking but with all those scars I wasn't about to make fun of him.
I approached cautiously and got the camera rolling. I got my wide, close, and detailed shots. I approached even closer to get some low shots of the teeth and I figured this would cause him flailing back into the water. But no he just sat there and didn't move a muscle. Then I sneaked around so he was between me and the camera and talked about how cool he was. As I messed with those shots I found myself getting closer and closer until I was right beside him. The whole time I kept an eye on him waiting for the slightest move that would trigger my flight response but it never came. Being in that kind of proximity with such a powerful animal was incredible. I was glad to meet him even though he seemed indifferent. This beat up alligator with an under bite is a star in my eyes and an incredible survivor. I very much hope to meet him again.