Out in the Big Bend of northwest Florida, the mouth of the Suwannee River is twenty miles from US 19 to the small coastal village of Suwannee. Just before reaching the village, I spotted the side road marked with a sign pointing out the Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge. Five miles into the refuge, palms scattered across the marshes near the Sanders Creek bridges made some nice compositions. A trail headed downstream along the edge of Sanders Creek. I got quite a distance from the road and my car as I photographed palm tree reflections in the dark stream and great white herons perched on cypress knees. Coming up the trail, headed straight for me, I thought I saw a large black dog. Standing two-feet tall and striding along briskly, it suddenly stopped as it noticed me and my camera. It turned and slipped into the stream. I could see that it was a very large alligator. I quickly returned to the car. The Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge covers almost 53,000 acres. It would be easy to get lost in this swamp.
Notes and images from Bob Hitchman.