Saltwater Crocodile

 

Leica M7 camera and Leica 90mm f2 Aspherical-M lens with Kodak Ektachrome Elite 100 film Leica M7 camera and Leica 90mm f2 Aspherical-M lens with Kodak Ektachrome Elite 100 film

The above image was made at Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory, Australia. Referred to as the Top End this region of Australia is remote and wild. Kakadu National Park is largely a water-based park and is best appreciated from the air or on a series of excellent water-based cruises exploring one of the regions incredible waterways. Rich in bird life Kakadu is home to a variety of reptiles including the world's largest saltwater crocodile.

This image was made from the safety of a boat, drifting gently over the water, with the engine turned off so as not to scare away the big fellows. My camera was aimed straight down to provide the impression of a birds eye view. I like the way the monochromatic green of the water has been broken by the croc surfacing and, as a result, the blue skylight is also reflected into the water.

By the way crocs scare the life out of me. They combine the skills of a hunter, honed over millions of years of evolution with immense power and speed. Thrusting out from below the surface of the water they devour large birds whole and, for larger prey, their razor sharp teeth holds their victim in a vice like grip that pushes the air out from their lungs as the croc spins them around in a death roll.

The Top End is a great place to visit and will provide wonderful memories for the visitor. But be aware of the potential dangers for the foolhardy. Never swim in the sea or in creeks or billabongs. Saltwater crocs spend quite a lot of their time in estuaries and are known to follow rivers upstream for significant distances. During monsoonal floods they can be pushed a long way upstream. Over time many of these waterways dry up and break into a series of small water holes and creeks, isolating the croc. Visitors who ignore the posted warning signs and swim in these places are pushing their luck to the extreme. Enjoy this magnificent country, but ignore warning signs at your own peril.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography  
Glenn Guy