Did the Alligators Go to the Gym?

Guest Post by Nancy Dobias

Now that April is here, I was hoping it would be time for the alligators to be looking for love but as it was, not many were out of the river. I guess some still had beauty shop appointments or gym workouts to keep before they presented themselves as "available."  At least it gave an opportunity for the deer to come out of the woods by the bridge and graze a bit along the river.

Across the road from the Canopy Walk, I did see an alligator hanging out with some of Myakka's birds.  I never realized the alligator was there when I stopped to take pictures of the birds.

It wasn't until I was taking pictures that I noticed the alligator swimming in and among the birds.  There was plenty of fish to go around, so the birds didn't mind the interloper within their midst even if he was a bit devious.

The alligator would do a lazy slow roll with his mouth open and whatever fish happened to "accidentally" swim inside, he innocently swallowed.  Then he swam over to another section of the wetland to do the same maneuver.  I first worried the alligator might hurt the birds, but since he had the motherload of fish swimming into his mouth and keeping him preoccupied and satisfied, the birds were safe.  Maybe the birds had THEIR OWN plan..

Too bad that alligator didn't notice there was a love interest not too far away.  She looked as though she might have been interested if he would have just stopped eating and had come her way, but when I looked back, he was still splashing around and doing that rolling routine.  I guess love was not on his radar.

Speaking of splashing around...when I was at the weir, a roseate spoonbill was taking no chances on finding the bird of her dreams.  Getting her feathers light and fluffy was the first order of the day and it must take a lot of work because this girl was working it.

With the advent of spring and the heart turning to love, attracting the best of the best takes a lot of attention to detail and no feather was left un-fluffed or un-ruffled.  Dressing for success is this girl's mantra.

Too bad a turkey that I saw along the road didn't read that book.  Perhaps he wouldn't look as though he had the weight of the world on his shoulders.  With his head hanging low, making his way through one of Myakka's fields.  I couldn't help but think, "Wow, he looks like he's going to a job that he hates."

He needs to focus on what's right in his world.  Before those words were out of my mouth, that is exactly what he DID do.  Up ahead was the field of HIS dreams.  With a gobble of delight and a jaunty skip to his gait, off that turkey flew to his field of gold and whatever adventures awaited for that turkey is anyone's guess.

In the next few weeks, I imagine more gold will appear in these fields.  Spring has arrived to Myakka River State Park.  Grab a camera and get thee to the park!  Maybe by then, the alligators will be groomed and smiling.