The Seasonal Art of a Myakka Landscape

Guest Post by Nancy Dobias

It's never predictable what you might see at MYAKKA RIVER STATE PARK.  The fields might be in flowers.

Or they might be flooded.

Or they could be in transition as they are now.

The fields and trails could be One with the Myakka River, or they too could be readying themselves for a rebirth.

Along the road you may be greeted with a wet grassland or a dry one.

But whatever time of the year you may go to the park, you're bound to notice its abundance of wildlife and its engaging conversationalists.


Why not check it out?  But do remember...whatever you expect to see, you might not see but whatever you DO see can still be worthy of a picture or two.

When is Enough Enough?

When is Enough Enough?

Guest Post by Nancy Dobias

Talk about a test of faith. When we went to Myakka River State Park on Sunday, we noticed an alligator surrounded by vultures.  The alligator was not moving a muscle and Larry wondered if he were dead.  Just as he said that, the alligator's back leg twitched and the alligator opened his eyes.

Did that bother the vultures?  No.  They had a mission and that mission was to snatch whatever the alligator was holding firmly in his jaws.


Because the vultures would not leave him alone to enjoy his meal in peace, the alligator was forced to take other measures. Did he attack?  No.  He steadily lumbered over to the river and off he swam.

Did that thwart the plans of the vultures?  No. They happened to notice another slightly smaller alligator who they hoped might be willing to share a meal with them.

I didn't think the alligator had anything to share but that didn't stop the pesty vultures from being in his space anyway.

I fully expected the alligator to lunge at the vultures to at least chase them away but it seemed to be a stand-off.  No one was backing down but no one was being aggressive either.

It must have been a "live and let live" kind of day at Myakka.  Neither the alligators swimming by or those who were stationed along the banks of the river evidenced any inclination to harm those with whom they shared the bounties of the river.

I wonder when humankind will understand that lesson.

Life is Good At Myakka

Life is Good At Myakka

Guest Post by Nancy Dobias

Because the Myakka River has gone down significantly, I was wondering how MYAKKA RIVER STATE PARK looked and whether the alligators were out and about.  I first checked out my favorite trail since that's where I see the biggest alligators.  The woods were relatively dry and the trail was pretty clear in the beginning.

Up ahead I could see a huge flock of roseate spoonbills hanging out on the other side of the river.  Because I wanted to get some closer shots of them, I continued down the path trying to avoid all the debris that seemed to have found its way into the woods.  Eventually the trail was blocked by some tree limbs that had cracked off a nearby tree.

Because I wanted a better shot of the birds, off the trail I went and into the poison ivy I stepped.  "I better get a really nice shot," I thought as I gingerly stepped over one plant to find myself next to another.  As I made my way back to the trail, up ahead I could hear a bird screeching out my arrival to his buddies.  Fortunately the spoonbills stayed and I was able to get off a few shots.

I still wasn't close enough to get the shot I wanted.  On I continued as my noisy buddy continued to herald my arrival by his incessant screeching.  "If I could only get a little closer..." I thought.  "If that bird would only shut up...."  Just then I noticed why he had been screeching.  He wasn't warning the spoonbills.  He was warning the two alligators who were hanging out on MY side of the river.

Because they were too near the shoreline, I ceded the territory to them and headed back.  I figured I would find something else to photograph.  It wasn't too long before I noticed that some alligators had surfaced and a few had made their way to the opposite side of the river.  There they were enjoying the sun and the gentle breezes.  One was particularly photogenic so I snapped away....

I next decided to drive down the main road of the park to check out how the fields were looking.  It was amazing to see the change.  The water had receded and mud or dirt lay in its stead.

Because the park was going through its metamorphoses from wet to dry, the deer were there to nibble on the emerging young grasses.

Since they looked as though they needed to graze in peace, I left them and drove a little bit further along the road.  To my amazement, I encountered an alligator slumbering right beside the road.  He seemed to be at peace with the world as he hugged the bank and exhibited his dreamy "life is good" look that I sometimes see on Myakka's alligators.

Life MUST be pretty good for these alligators because this alligator had nothing on his plate except sleep and an occasional happy smile.

Myakka River Kayak Drawing of Chance

Myakka River Kayak Drawing of Chance

WIN a Santee 126 Sport

by Hurricane Kayaks*

39 lbs. – 12’6” in length. Extremely stable.

Enough storage for a serious day trip. 

Great for fishing, exploring and photography.


       Tickets: $5.00 or 5/$20.00**


See the kayak and buy your tickets at Myakka River State Park Ranger Station.


Drawing will be April 19th, 2019

at the Moon Over Myakka Concert.

You need not be present to win.

                  Kayak provided by 

Economy Tackle/Dolphin Paddlesports

Made in USA

Funding for the kayak provided by the Friends of Myakka River, Inc. 

Friends of Myakka River, Inc. is a 501©3 non-profit group established to protect, preserve and support Myakka River State Park and the Florida Wild and Scenic Myakka River.

Phone: 941-373-7839 Address 13208 SR 72, Sarasota, FL 34241

Maximum 20 tickets per person.  No purchase necessary

Winner responsible for picking up prize at Myakka River State Park.

Rules governing this drawing are located on the back of all tickets


Friends of Myakka River, Inc.

Kayak – Rules of the Drawing


  1. This drawing of chance is being conducted by the Friends of Myakka River, Inc., a 501 © 3 non-profit group.  The primary business address listed is 13208 State Road 72, Sarasota FL 34241.

  2. All proceeds from donations received as a result of this drawing will be deposited in the “Friends” account.  No proceeds will be used for salaries or administrative costs.

  3. The drawing will be held at Myakka River State Park, 13208 State Road 72, Sarasota, FL 34241 on April 19th, 2019 during the concert intermission (8PM- 8:30PM); tickets will be available until then.

  4. **The minimum suggested donation is $5.00 per chance or 5/$20.00 and only 20 entries per person are allowed. No purchase or contribution is necessary to participate.

  5. The winner of this drawing will be selected randomly from a container holding all tickets entered.  The winner is in no way predetermined or pre-selected.

  6. The drawing will be held regardless of the number of tickets disbursed.

  7. The winner of the drawing need not be present to win.  If the winner is not present he/she will be notified by phone or in writing using the information provided on the ticket.

  8. Every effort will be made to contact the winner.  If after 90 days the winner cannot be contacted, a second drawing will be held. The time and date of that drawing will be announced on the website:

  9. The winner will need to present his/her photo ID to claim the prize and will be responsible for its pick up and transportation.  *Winner may choose $500 in lieu of kayak.