Life is Good At Myakka
Guest Post by Nancy Dobias
Because the Myakka River has gone down significantly, I was wondering how MYAKKA RIVER STATE PARK looked and whether the alligators were out and about. I first checked out my favorite trail since that's where I see the biggest alligators. The woods were relatively dry and the trail was pretty clear in the beginning.
Up ahead I could see a huge flock of roseate spoonbills hanging out on the other side of the river. Because I wanted to get some closer shots of them, I continued down the path trying to avoid all the debris that seemed to have found its way into the woods. Eventually the trail was blocked by some tree limbs that had cracked off a nearby tree.
Because I wanted a better shot of the birds, off the trail I went and into the poison ivy I stepped. "I better get a really nice shot," I thought as I gingerly stepped over one plant to find myself next to another. As I made my way back to the trail, up ahead I could hear a bird screeching out my arrival to his buddies. Fortunately the spoonbills stayed and I was able to get off a few shots.
I still wasn't close enough to get the shot I wanted. On I continued as my noisy buddy continued to herald my arrival by his incessant screeching. "If I could only get a little closer..." I thought. "If that bird would only shut up...." Just then I noticed why he had been screeching. He wasn't warning the spoonbills. He was warning the two alligators who were hanging out on MY side of the river.
Because they were too near the shoreline, I ceded the territory to them and headed back. I figured I would find something else to photograph. It wasn't too long before I noticed that some alligators had surfaced and a few had made their way to the opposite side of the river. There they were enjoying the sun and the gentle breezes. One was particularly photogenic so I snapped away....
I next decided to drive down the main road of the park to check out how the fields were looking. It was amazing to see the change. The water had receded and mud or dirt lay in its stead.
Because the park was going through its metamorphoses from wet to dry, the deer were there to nibble on the emerging young grasses.
Since they looked as though they needed to graze in peace, I left them and drove a little bit further along the road. To my amazement, I encountered an alligator slumbering right beside the road. He seemed to be at peace with the world as he hugged the bank and exhibited his dreamy "life is good" look that I sometimes see on Myakka's alligators.
Life MUST be pretty good for these alligators because this alligator had nothing on his plate except sleep and an occasional happy smile.