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.