Thursday, July 2, 2009

...on alligators and full memory cards...

Birding on Hilton Head Island and Pinckney Island NWR…continued from Wednesday’s post on the Snowy Egrets.
…I have to admit that the alligator was quite a surprise. I knew all along alligators could be lurking in the water, watching me, but I had been birding for at least 5 hours and hadn’t seen one, so I had forgotten about the possibility of a prehistoric presence. When I did finally see one, it was almost a relief (“Okay, now you know they are there. Be careful. Pay attention. Oooh…and go get his picture!”). He was really cool and fascinating…and just so different than the norm back home. A snapping turtle is probably the worst thing we would encounter in a pond in Cincy. I took a bunch of photos, which all looked the same--a big log with unblinking eyes. I know I’m repeating myself and said the same thing yesterday, it’s just those eyes were the creepiest part. He kept giving me that crazy alligator eye, which is very unnerving.

Eventually I moved on, or actually back. I wanted to get a few more shots of mama Snowy on the nest. I snapped one, and then nothing. My camera had stopped working….What? Then it dawned on me…my last memory card….full. So I put the lens cap on the lens and kept walking. I didn’t need to take photos to bird, but without the camera to drive me I started noticing how badly my foot hurt, and the fact that I could barely walk anymore was sinking in quickly…and I started remembering the doctor told me not to walk too much, so I headed to a bench and sat down to write a little, and just watch, and listen. My water was gone, my foot was killing me, and the alligator was still giving me the crazy eye, so I called it a day and slowly headed for the car (which was a very long walk). I knew I’d be back either tomorrow or the next day, and this time I’d bring three memory cards!

17 comments:

E said...

Wow! a wonderful collection of great birds photos. Great and interesting stories, Kelita, love all the pics, incredible creatures. Take good care of your foot, rest and be calm for some days, they will wait for you :). Hugs

Midmarsh John said...

That was quite an experience, Kelly. I know I would have been terrified, birds or no birds! Great pictures of the beautiful Snowy Egrets. Such a dazzling white.

Jayne said...

Hope the foot is feeling better now. Drats! A full memory card!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Kelly, I keep wondering where Rick was during all of this time.. Did you do this long walk into the 'wilds' by yourself???? Weren't you just a little scared??? I think I would want George with me!!!

Sorry about your memory card being full--but if it weren't, I'm not sure you would have EVER come out of that beautiful area. You would have just stayed there and LIVED with the birds forever. Right?????? ha ha

You all have a great 4th.
Hugs,
Betsy

Kelly said...

Enita...thank you! I am resting my foot. That ligament will heal eventually. Saw the doc again yesterday. Hugs :-)

John...when birds are around, you get brave without even trying! :-)

Jayne...the foot is a little better. It's a torn Plantar Fascia ligament. I waited too long to go to the doc--always toughing it out. Now I'm paying.

Betsy...Rick was playing tennis, and Matty was with Cheri, Dom and Cody at the ocean. But there were other people there. At one point two birding gentlemen who were regulars, a family who had just come from the Florida Everglades (and did not see any where as many birds there)...another family I helped with birding ID....and a couple of couples...off and on. If I could live on that island. Whoa! That would be awesome--except for those unnerving alligators! Have a great 4th...hugs!

ShySongbird said...

It's always a heart stopping moment when you press the shutter and nothing happens, you are convinced something dreadful has happened....then you look at the screen and, usually in my case, it says.... change the battery pack!!
I'm very glad you survived the foot problem and the alligator :)

Kelly said...

Songbird.....laughing.....I do the same thing every time. Mine is usually "Full." The worst time ever was when I finally found a Savannah Sparrow and he was singing about 4 feet from me. Click....nothing....arggh!!

Dave Lewis said...

When those gators give you the crazy eye, that means they're hungry! Just whack them on the nose with your camera...
I've learned the same lesson, I have LOTS of memory cards now!

Laure Ferlita said...

Dratted technology! Always conking out at the wrong moment!! ;•)

Sounds as though it was a good thing in this case. Five hours? On a sore foot? And no water?!! You do like to live on the edge!

And I grateful you like to share your adventures! Glad the foot has improved!

Adrienne in Ohio said...

This reminds me that I need to pack some extra memory cards for my trip to Wisconsin.
Hope you have a great holiday weekend Kelly!

Unseen Rajasthan said...

Do Take care of your foot and show us the pictures soon..:)..Do check my another blog also i.e.Unseen Rajasthan

Warren Baker said...

Great adventure Kelly. You look after that foot, or you wont be adventuring anymore!!!

Linda McGeary said...

As usual, beautiful pictures.
You don't want to get to close to the Mr. Alligator with a hurt foot. You want quick exit ability around them.
Hope your foot has recovered.
The baby Blues are so cute and funny captions to go along with.
How long do you have on your vacation?

Nature As Is said...

Well Kelly sorry to hear that your foot was not co-operating but our body has a funny way to let us know time for a rest. Please take good care of yourself now :) I know I'm not your Mom...but I'm a Mom none the less..lol. Sorry about your memory card...I look forward to your alligator shots when your foot is up to the treck. I know your going back!! Hahah... like you wouldn't right. :)

holdingmoments said...

A staring alligator would put me off a bit I think. Bad timing by the memory card. I'm like ShySongbird, it's usually the battery lol
Glad the foot's getting better now.

Sue said...

Drats-full memory card, don't you just hate that!?!
But, you got a lot of fantastic pictures. And, some wonderful memories!
Hope the foot is better.
Have a happy 4th!

Elaine said...

I've had the same thing happen when I've been at Creamer's Field here taking pictures of the spring migration. I wasn't ready to quit, but didn't have a choice. I went and got another much larger memory card, and I think I'll get a few more. It's very easy to snap 3 or 400 shots in a matter of minutes. And just when your card is full, then the perfect shot is bound to come along! It probably was a good thing in your case this time, as you really did need to get a bit of rest, and with your adrenaline up you wouldn't have noticed it for a while.