Expect the Unexpected

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Expect the Unexpected

Guest Post by Nancy Dobias

Expect the unexpected would be a great slogan for Myakka River State Park.  You just never know what you might see or NOT see.  In fact it took two men to point out something that was "hiding" in plain sight...an alligator in camo!  This guy was so well camouflaged that I NEVER would have seen him had these men not first called my attention to the alligator disguised as a clump of moss hanging out right below where we were talking.  They estimated he was about 5 foot in length.  When I asked if they were worried about our being too close to him, they assured me that we just had to be ready to run fast...faster than the other guy!  (I think I was the "other guy....")

I also didn't expect to see a "decorated" tree at Myakka but that's what I saw when the proverbial "partridge in a pear tree" became instead a congregation of wood storks.  In the tree or on the ground, they seemed to have found a wonderful secluded respite for their migration.

Those among them who didn't need a rest were instead entertaining the masses with their gymnastic and balancing routines.

The dare-devils were out in full force too.  Nonchalantly a group of ibis couldn't be bothered to fly over the alligator.  Instead they took their dining excursion to the extreme.

Maybe the birds think they are too fast to be caught.  Even a tricolored heron had no problem wandering around in the alligator-infested waters of the Myakka....

Of course it did give him an opportunity to chat up a nearby Limpkin.

The black necked stilts had been too stand-offish and another little guy was just too shy.

Limpkins are always good for conversation.

Too bad the more social vultures were not closer to where the heron was hanging out.  No doubt they would have been engaging conversationalists.  I'm sure many are talking about how pretty the park is.

The brightly-colored emerald-green grass must have drawn the birds to the park in droves.  Hanging out in the fields or trees.

Or hanging out along the river, they were all there.... When will you be there???