Too close to focus

It was on the return leg of my trail on Marsh Rabbit Run at Circle B. If you don't know it, it is almost a mile of narrow trail about six or eight feet wide with marsh waters on both sides down a slight inclne or perhaps two feet.

I had photographed a number of alligators in the water on my outward leg so I was no longer looking for them on the return journey.

Then all of a sudden, he appeared right beside me. Twelve or thirteen feet of prehistoric monster. He looked at me and I looked at him and neither one of us moved. I raised the camera to my eye but for this lens I was within a distance of less than the focal range, so it wouldn't focus. So, I took a step back.

He took my step back as an approval to eat what he had in his mouth; a huge catfish that was by now surely dead or if not was soon about to be.

What ensued was graphic and sligtly disturbing as his powerful jaws crunched repeatedly until he was able to swallow his prey whole. Blood and mud oozed out from the side of his mouth and I had the presence of mind to switch the camera into video mode (here it is on YouTube) although the camera is (unsurprisingly) a little shakey. When he was done, he looked back at me and I spoke softly to him for a moment before he turned around and went back down into the water and we parted friends.



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