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Thanks for the comments Chris, Ray and Tom.
I like to tease- but I rarely lie... so the truth must out:
I was standing on a slightly elevated wooden walkway over a swamp. I saw the alligator swimming slowly, waited for him to get (mostly) out of the way, and then I stepped forward and took the shot. Although the 'gators in Everglades National Park are totally wild, they are acclimated to the presence of people- and the people never harass them- so being this close wasn't really too dangerous. Plus- a big dose of adrenaline was at the ready .