Alligators have been making the national news a lot of late. Between the tragic story of the toddler at Disney World who was snatched and drowned by one from a shallow lake front, to terrifying pictures of a seemingly 15-foot long alligator roaming a Lakeland, Florida golf course during the day, these prehistoric reptiles seem to be procreating at record speed these days.Most of us would run screaming from such daunting creatures, but for two photographers, Larry Lynch and David Moynahan, these intimidating serpents were a tremendous draw, especially at night – which happens to be when gators lie in wait to find their prey and eat it.Their award-winning images will both fascinate and possibly scare you. Because alligators keep only their eyes above water in the dark, and those eyes light up like a hundred fireflies. Lynch’s photosearned him a “Wildlife Photographer of the Year” award from the Natural History Museum. With all the leering eyes peering over the still lake, it’s aptly titled “Warning Night Light,” and it was not taken without danger to Lynch.
Between kneeling in several inches of black mud, the heat, humidity, and bloodthirsty mosquitos, my thoughts were, ‘get the best picture I can and get […] out.’” We can imagine what the phrase that was cut out might have been, considering the circumstances.Lynch’s photo was captured at Florida’s Myakka River State Park, not far from Sarasota, in the northern part of the state. Moynahan visited the same park in dark of night, and felt a sense of mystery about it all, noting that a mist descended and combined with his camera flash, adding “magic” to his stills.
Alligators have roamed the Earth since prehistoric times, and are known to eat their own young if nothing else is at hand. It takes some courage to draw attention to yourself as they wait to find dinner en masse. But the resulting images are fascinating indeed.