CREATE A LANDSCAPE FROM MYAKKA'S BEAUTY

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CREATE A LANDSCAPE FROM MYAKKA'S BEAUTY

guest post by Nancy Dobias

Golden meadows kissed by the sun are still yours for the viewing if you happen by Myakka River State Park.  The magnetic draw of the fields must be overpowering as nervous parents throw open their car doors and kids of all ages throw caution to the wind as they race to the fields in delight.  These fields not only have the pull on the human children, but they also beckon fun-loving fawn as well.  Of course, second-nature does govern their behavior.  Curiosity controls the fun-loving abandon as the fawn first peeks through the flowers to determine if we might be a threat.

Since Mom was nearby, she also was consulted.  Mom had years of experience in the park and figured all would be well but she did, however, monitor the area before she was satisfied that her youngster would be safe.

It must not have been the response the youngster expected because he still wasn't quite sure it was safe to leave Mom's side and romp among the wildflowers.  Mom checked once again.

It was then that we decided to let them enjoy their lunch in peace and go elsewhere in the park to check out what was happening.  Since we hadn't been to the weir for awhile, we next drove there to see if it was open.  Although it hasn't been repaired, the path to the weir is open and visitors could walk out to the weir.  At the weir are two pathways through the tall grasses that allow you to view the passageway of water over the weir.  Fish must be abundant because generally birds and alligators can be found congregating near the weir.  You must be careful when you walk through the grasses because you never know what also might be sunning on the banks of the lake.

Although he didn't mind our taking a few pictures of him, after a few minutes of taking pictures enough was enough! Since he wasn't being cooperative, we checked out the other path beside the weir.  The birds were more plentiful here.

The alligators were still around but they weren't as evident.  In fact we never even noticed the one beside the bird.  Birds and alligators live in such close proximity that they seem to tolerate one another quite well.  If you haven't been to the weir in awhile, springtime is a nice time to check out the wildflowers in the vicinity.  It sure makes for a pretty landscape.

Our last stop was to check out the BIRD WALK.  A storm was moving in and we weren't sure how long we had before it hit.  The Bird Walk looks like a fantastic place to view a sunset or sunrise but I don't know if it has the right alignment for that to happen.  It's also a great place to view a storm a'brewing....  Florida storm clouds amaze me.  It's impressive to see how low those clouds can be.

Since the storm was ready to hit, we got off the Bird Walk and as we retraced our way back through the park, we took one last lingering look at that "river of gold" and wondered if the fawn ever did get to take his fun-loving romp through those fields of gold.  It was raining up ahead.  Maybe the fawn might enjoy running through the "sprinkler" too. It sure was an interesting day at the Magical Kingdom of Myakka...a baby alligator who only wanted to cross the road, a fawn who wanted to leap among the wildflowers, alligators who wanted to doze in the grasses and visitors of all ages who couldn't get enough of the park's beauty and appeal.  It's all there.  All you have to do is decide to go.

Liquid Gold Flows at Myakka River State Park

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Liquid Gold Flows at Myakka River State Park

Guest Post by Nancy Dobias

If you live in the area of Myakka River State Park, I hope you take the time to visit the park in the next couple of days.  If you do, you will see a field of "liquid gold."  At least that is what it appears to be.  Few visitors could resist the pull of such a sight when I was there on Tuesday.

Car after car pulled over to marvel at the "molten gold" layered upon the field.  Visitors of all ages hurried through the trees and out beyond to gaze at what nature had painted upon the landscape of Myakka.

I kept waiting for a bridal party, or someone posing for senior pictures, or friends wearing their outfits for the Junior - Senior Prom.  Although they never came, others did.  No one could resist posing with a backdrop of such glorious colors and majesty.  Even a lonely palm tree got in on the act.

Yes, the park is alive with colors.  It's also alive with alligators.  Sometimes there are those who don't consider the foolishness of where they are getting their photographs.  Fortunately the alligator didn't make a move towards her.  He just did what alligators do....THIS time.

What visitors need to keep in mind when they see all the alligators along the banks of the river is that these animals are not puppy dogs waiting for you to take a "selfie" with them.  It is best to keep your distance and to marvel at the Wonders of Myakka from the safety of the bridge! 

Serenity's Stalemate

Guest post by Nancy Dobias

If you spend enough time along the rivers of Florida, you're bound to see an alligator or two but some rivers seem to have the motherload of alligators.  Myakka River is one such river.  Not only does the river offer its visitors scenic peeks through the many trees that overhang its waters but it also allows visitors to observe the alligators as they interact with the river and its other residents.

When you go to Myakka River State Park, you're sure to notice that some alligators seem eager to have company.  Perhaps they need the new visitors to listen to their old stories, but you'll also notice those who seem rather annoyed when newcomers have the audacity to enter their domain.

Because alligators intrigue me, when I go to Myakka River State Park and walk along my favorite trail, I invariably wish I had brought along a chair on which to sit.  It's especially interesting when you happen upon the BIG GUYS of the Myakka.  ENORMOUS!  Typically these fellows are not doing much but I figure they MUST evenutally move.  I just have to wait them out.  If I were a braver soul, I would sit on the ground and wait for the action to unfold, but I just know the ants would find me.  Instead, I stand there.  I watch, I wait, I wait some more.  I watch THE BIG GUY on my left,  I watch the BIG GUY on my right, I wait,  I watch. My cameras are heavy but I can do this, I continue watching,  I continue waiting.  My camera is ready and I am ready.

Neither alligator approaches the other.  You would think one might come over to say "Hey! How ya doing?"  Maybe they are both the shy types.  Other alligators happen along but they veer off, slightly away from them.  I guess they don't want to disturb their rest.  I continue to wait,  I stay vigilant. "I can be more patient than an alligator," I think to myself.  I continue to watch.  My knees are killing me from standing here so long, "Oh how I wish I had a chair..." I whine to myself.  I wait and watch, wait and watch, wait. I zoom in on the BIG GUYS to see if a closer "look" might somehow reveal what their plans might be.  First I inspect the one on the right, next the one on the left.

And then I make my move, away from the BIG GUYS, still wondering what I might miss but knowing I'll be back, pulled by the beauty and wildness of the Myakka River State Park and what I might see or experience around the next bend in the river or whenever one of those BIG GUYS may actually move.

Row, Row, Row Your Boat

Row, Row, Row Your Boat.

Guest Post by Nancy Dobias

Going to Myakka River State Park is always an unknown as to what you may or may not see and experience.  I was told that the best way to experience the park was to kayak along the river.  (My sentiments exactly!) Today when I was walking along my favorite trail, I wasn't sure if I'd see "snakes" or alligators. (Ok, that was just a pretend snake but it did look like one!) The woods were as peaceful as always and I was the only one making my way through the trees and along the river....

At least I was the only one until a couple of kayakers quietly paddled by.  I heard one comment about an alligator on the left and another one on the right.  I couldn't see what they were seeing, so I continued my hike and figured I would see the alligators up near the overpass.

What a surprise I had!  When I reached the overpass, there wasn't just ONE alligator on the left and ONE alligator on the right.  There were TWENTY or so alligators out and about.  Most were sunning themselves on the bank but there were about 8-10 dog-paddling in the river.

A few more entered the water when the kayakers approached.  I guess they didn't appreciate the insensitivity of someone disturbing their slumber and perhaps they wanted to show their displeasure.  The alligators were never aggressive.  They did not swim toward the kayaks BUT in my imagination, they no doubt would doubled-back and come up under the kayaks and.

I think I will wait on kayaking, BUT I absolutely envy all those who have had this experience.  What great pictures these men must have!!!