Alligator Eyes


The eyes are the window to the soul, it is said. These eyes, however, belong to an alligator, and the alligator eyes are eyeing me carefully.


The wetlands of Florida’s Everglades National Park are at once wondrous and mysterious, and the distinction between land and everything else is a very fine line if it is a line at all. A case in point is Alligator Eyes. One moment you are standing on solid dry ground and the next you are knee-deep, or more, in the swamp.

But, the deeper into the wetlands you travel, the more civilization fades into the distant background and the more primeval your surroundings become. The buzz of the insects, the splish-sploosh of something heading into a pond, and the call of the bullfrogs keep you company. Those sounds are fine, for you know what they are. The issue at hand are creatures looking at you, but you don’t see nor hear.

As I was avoiding the muck that barely delineates land from water, I glanced out over a small pond. Nothing to see there. Nothing at all. All is well, except for the vague sense of unease. I looked again, carefully. Nope. All clear.

One more look, just because. And there is a pair of eyes–alligator eyes–looking at me, deep and inky black, the kind of stare that can only mean one thing: you are invited for dinner and you are on the menu. It was time to find dry ground and a lot of it.

Backing carefully, slowly, away, I avoided the dinner invitation, but not before making Alligator Eyes. This photograph is one of my favorites from the Everglades. Even though it is mysteriousness, is reminds us of what is all around us, if only we open our eyes.

Additional information


Matted Photograph, Finished Aluminum


12×18, 20×30, 8×10