You really can't tell from this photo, but this fellow was VERY big (15 - 17 ft) ....and, he was watching us. Doesn't it look like he's smiling? American Alligator -Alligator mississippiensis(can you say that three times fast).
North American Osprey - Pandion Heliaetus Carolinensis
The Osprey thrives in the Florida Everglades. On my morning walks along the shores I was often visited by this majestic raptor.
Consider the meaning of the Osprey’s scientific name: “Pandion” refers to the mythic King of Athens whose daughters were turned into birds in Greek mythology. “Haliaetus” comes from the Greek word “Halos” (Sea or Salt) combined with “Aetos” or Eagle. Thus - ' Sea Eagle'.
I was once fortunate to hold one of these magnificent birds for a brief moment and look into her eyes....perhaps she now lives in the Everglades. I hope one day she will return to Lake Red Rock in Iowa.