A Clarion Call From a Heron

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A Clarion Call From a Heron

Guest post by Nancy Dobias

Guest post by Nancy Dobias

When Floridians complain about it being entirely too cold, they're probably referring to temperatures in the 50's.    Boots come out of closets, coats, hats and gloves are donned and everyone walks a little happier with a zip in their step, for a day or two, before they want to know when all this cold will JUST GO AWAY!  

When I went to Myakka River State Park, even the alligators looked as though they were feeling the low temps.  Huddled together in groups along the shoreline of the Myakka River, you wished the park could issue them all solar warming blankets to help bring up their core body temps. Because that didn't happen, most of the alligators were taking advantage of the solar heat by being out of the river, soaking up warmth from the sun. 

No doubt most were enjoying their "spa" time along the river.

At least they were until I happened along.  That's when a very "helpful" blue heron swooped over the river "screaming" her pterodactyl warning that danger was near.  "SPLASH, SPLASH, SPLASH, SPLASH, SPLASH, SPLASH...."  Within nanoseconds, 8 of the 10 alligators plunged into the cold waters of the Myakka River.  Gone were their plans to bask in the warming rays.  Gone was MY chance to photograph a great group of alligators.  There were now 8 very annoyed alligators in the river.

As I waited patiently along the beach for their annoyance to abate, I kept scanning the river to track where they had all gone.   About 15 minutes later, 5-6 started to make their way back on shore...back to the warming rays.

As I awaited the others to come out of the cold river, suddenly that noisy ANNOYING blue heron once more sounded her alarm.   This was more of a half-hearted alarm.  Because I had been looking through my camera, I had wondered why the alligators didn't react to the alarm as they had before.  "Were they used to my being there or was it just because it wasn't as loud as before?" I wondered.  Bringing my my camera down, I looked around.  I scanned the river...I scanned the opposite shoreline.  Then I looked on MY side of the river....about 20 feet away from where I was standing.

I guess that "annoying" blue heron isn't so "annoying" after all!