friends of myakka river

Baby Birds Coming to the Bridge

Baby Birds Coming to the Bridge

Guest Post by Nancy Dobias

I went to Myakka River State Park today to see if I'd be lucky enough to see the turkey strutting through the meadow but he was no where to be found. So I continued on to the weir.  Generally I walk through the woods to get to the weir.

Such remarkable beauty to see the oak trees bedecked with the Spanish moss or to even see the soaring palm trees stretching up to get their piece of the sun.

Today I learned something new.  There's another way to get to the weir.  A path has been "carved" through the grasses and runs along the Upper Lake.

It goes right to the base of the weir.  A welcoming party of Vultures and Anhingas will even be there there to greet you and engage you in conversation should you so desire.

I personally love to "talk" with the vultures.  Whether it's a close-up,

or a full-bodied shot, the vultures always seem ready and eager to please. 

I'm not so sure about the wood storks.  I love the wood storks and find them an interesting bird to photograph but I'm not so sure they're operating on "all fours" if they can mosey by an alligator, have the alligator make a half-hearted lunge for having had his sleep disturbed and the only reaction from the wood stork is a slight ruffling of his feathers.

The wood stork apparently finds nothing formidable in an alligator. 

Since we're on the subject of birds, do you ever wonder why some people mistakenly believe that birds would be safer in a world without alligators?  They must think that birds are at the mercy of the alligators who prey on them.  Check out a close-up of this Great Blue Heron.  In his world, no doubt his prey would be trembling at being in HIS sights.  The intensity of the eyes...the sharpness of that beak...sure would hate to be on the receiving end of THAT power.

Personally I think it's important to understand and accept there is room on this planet for all of us.  When you start to point the finger at one species, there could be someone else pointing the finger at you.  It's best to just move over and make room.  

Speaking of that, there is new life that is coming to the bridge.  A Great Blue Heron has made a nest on one of the islands in the middle of the river and is hoping the world will soon make room for her little ones.  I didn't personally notice the nest was there, but one of the volunteers for Friends of Myakka was working at the bridge today and was talking about what visitors could see from the bridge.  I thought she was about to tell me about the alligators or the limpkins but instead she surprised me with the news of the nest.  It just so happened that Mom was on the nest when she pointed out its location but later, Mom lowered herself down into the nest.  The next time you go to Myakka River State Park, bring your binoculars and check out the nest.  Maybe you'll see Mom or maybe the eggs will be hatched and one of the little ones will be peeking up out of the nest but you won't see them without your binoculars.  Look on the canopy side of the river and at least maybe you'll see bedraggled parents coming and going from the nest.

The river is looking mighty pretty at the bridge too.  Bring a camera!!  (Don't forget to photograph the vultures at the weir.  They sometimes feel neglected....)


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.


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.


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.

Myakka River Kayak Drawing of Chance

Myakka River Kayak Drawing of Chance

WIN a Santee 126 Sport

by Hurricane Kayaks*

39 lbs. – 12’6” in length. Extremely stable.

Enough storage for a serious day trip. 

Great for fishing, exploring and photography.


       Tickets: $5.00 or 5/$20.00**


See the kayak and buy your tickets at Myakka River State Park Ranger Station.


Drawing will be April 19th, 2019

at the Moon Over Myakka Concert.

You need not be present to win.

                  Kayak provided by 

Economy Tackle/Dolphin Paddlesports

Made in USA

Funding for the kayak provided by the Friends of Myakka River, Inc. 

Friends of Myakka River, Inc. is a 501©3 non-profit group established to protect, preserve and support Myakka River State Park and the Florida Wild and Scenic Myakka River.

Phone: 941-373-7839 Address 13208 SR 72, Sarasota, FL 34241

Maximum 20 tickets per person.  No purchase necessary

Winner responsible for picking up prize at Myakka River State Park.

Rules governing this drawing are located on the back of all tickets


Friends of Myakka River, Inc.

Kayak – Rules of the Drawing


  1. This drawing of chance is being conducted by the Friends of Myakka River, Inc., a 501 © 3 non-profit group.  The primary business address listed is 13208 State Road 72, Sarasota FL 34241.

  2. All proceeds from donations received as a result of this drawing will be deposited in the “Friends” account.  No proceeds will be used for salaries or administrative costs.

  3. The drawing will be held at Myakka River State Park, 13208 State Road 72, Sarasota, FL 34241 on April 19th, 2019 during the concert intermission (8PM- 8:30PM); tickets will be available until then.

  4. **The minimum suggested donation is $5.00 per chance or 5/$20.00 and only 20 entries per person are allowed. No purchase or contribution is necessary to participate.

  5. The winner of this drawing will be selected randomly from a container holding all tickets entered.  The winner is in no way predetermined or pre-selected.

  6. The drawing will be held regardless of the number of tickets disbursed.

  7. The winner of the drawing need not be present to win.  If the winner is not present he/she will be notified by phone or in writing using the information provided on the ticket.

  8. Every effort will be made to contact the winner.  If after 90 days the winner cannot be contacted, a second drawing will be held. The time and date of that drawing will be announced on the website:

  9. The winner will need to present his/her photo ID to claim the prize and will be responsible for its pick up and transportation.  *Winner may choose $500 in lieu of kayak.