Back to Normal Along the Myakka

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Back to Normal Along the Myakka

Guest Post by Nancy Dobias

Order has been "restored" on the Myakka!  When I went to the park on Tuesday, I was interested in whether the alligators were still hanging out on my side of the river. As I first set off down the trail, a friendly little bird flitted out of some overhanging tree branches to chirp his greetings and to assure me that "normality" had been restored and all was well along the river.

Because I wanted to see for myself, I thanked him for his information but off down the trail I continued.  It didn't take long to realize that he was certainly right about one thing.  The river and wetlands were indeed their normal beautiful self.

As I continued my stroll beside the river, he was right about another thing.  The alligators had returned to their "proper" place along the banks, on the OTHER side of the river.  It was a sunny day and all were basking in the warming rays of the early afternoon sun and having their normal peaceful snooze in the grasses.

Since I was interested in whether the Tag Team Duo was also on the OTHER side of the river, I continued along.  Within a few minutes, I arrived to the spot where I had earlier encountered them.  There they were, happily sunning themselves, eager to partake of what the day had to offer, and doing it from THEIR side of the river.

Both were aware of my passage and both may have wondered whether there was any hope I may come over to "visit" with them.

However, that thought was put to rest immediately as I bid them adieu and continued along the trail, happy that they had returned to a "safer" side of the river and that balance had been restored to the universe.

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???

THE SEASONAL ART OF A MYAKKA LANDSCAPE

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.

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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.

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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.