A Harley in the Myakka?

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A Harley in Myakka?

Guest post by Nancy Dobias

I've said it before and I'll say it again, you just never know what you'll see or experience when you pay a visit to Myakka River State Park.  This morning, as I was counting the number of alligators visible downstream, I happened to notice one of them look as though he might begin a courtship ritual.

His head was arcing above the water, his snout was pointing to the heavens and he was puffing out his jaw.  I figured next on his agenda would be to dip his body under water to blow out the air bubbles but before I could witness the "water dance," a loud roar of a Harley caused me to turn to the side to see why a motorcycle might be reving his engine on the bridge.

To my utter amazement, the "Harley" was the alligator that had been sleeping on the other side of the bridge but had been awakened out of his slumber by the challenge of this other alligator having the audacity to court one of his nearby lady friends.  In powerful strokes, "Harley" quickly made it under the bridge and was now bellowing out his dominance of the river.  Once his bellows was sounded, down he dipped and the water dance began.

Then, back up "Harley" roared and this time he lunged higher.  He was the KING OF THE RIVER.  He would tolerate no challengers.  To prove his worth, back down he went to once more perform his water dance to all his admiring ladies.

As I watched "Harley" demonstrate his manhood to all his admirers, I couldn't help but notice how proud HE was of his own performance.

I also looked at his challenger to see if he had gotten the picture and had backed down but unfortunately he was still trying his luck at attracting one of Harley's ladies.

He was good, but he still had a long way to go to challenge a guy like "Harley" and hopefully he waits a few more years before he takes him on.  "Harley" doesn't look like a guy you'd mess with.  There's a reason why he is the solitary KING OF THIS STRETCH OF THE RIVER.

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No doubt Myakka has plenty of other lady alligators who would gladly welcome the interest of a studly King in Waiting.