Want To Go With the Flow?

Have you ever been in a stare-down with a cottonmouth?  I know I haven't, but one of the visitors to Myakka River State Park claimed that he had.  Larry and I encountered the "snake-charmer" as we were slogging our way to the bridge.  He had already been down to the bridge and was warning us about the cottonmouth he had just seen and was also advising us not to go past the bridge.  He had done that and ended up in chest deep water.  YIKES!  Apparently a vehicle had also attempted to drive down the barricaded road but the high waters in some sections of the road ruined his chance to go "orange-water" rafting.  The truck flooded out and joined the other types of debris accumulating on the road.  If you're wondering why I don't have a picture of that, it's because there is NO WAY I would slog through "chest high" water in the Myakka River State Park!

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Want To Go With the Flow?

Guest post by Nancy Dobias 

August 29, 2017

I'm much more content to gaze in awe at how pretty the flooded paths have become.  Although the inhospitable colony of ants live on the other end of this trail, we were quite safe from their stings standing by the BBQ pit near the picnic pavillion.

At the end where the inhospital ants lay in wait, it's quite a difference what happened to their lair from one day to the next.

The Myakka River had risen another foot by Monday afternoon.  The river had been a little over 8 foot on Sunday but by Monday the rise took it to 9.49.   Most of the main road was closed to vehicles...unless you were the driver who "thought" his truck could make it....  The park was still open for visitors who didn't mind slogging their way down the main road.  Visitors were asked to park near the restored log cabin. The beginning section of the road started out dry but it didn't take long to get to the flooded section.  When we got to the flooded roadway, we stayed in the middle of the road where the depth of the water was only 6-8 inches.  There is no way I wanted to be on the low side of the road and perhaps encounter that cottonmouth who may no longer be so "charmed" by our presence in his territory.

The scenery was pretty on either side of the road.  Woodlands or wetlands offered many photo opportunities.  Because there was a current of water moving through the woods and pushing towards the river, occasionally downed branches or logs would be carried to the road and left there.  We even saw small to medium size fish enjoying a swim on the road.

The wetland grasses were mostly under water and this section of the park seemed to "become one" with the river.

It was not a good day to be taking pictures though.  Rain came at times in buckets and it was a chore trying to keep the lens free so that I could take some pictures.  Naturally we encountered several cute limpkin families and how I would have liked to have gotten some good pictures of them.  The chicks seemed to be in different stages of growth.  One chick had the downy feathers but my attempt at taking her picture was a dismal failure.   I did keep one picture of an older chick walking along behind his Dad, but even it was not as good as it should have been.

To give you an idea of what the weather was like when we made it to the bridge and came upon all the limpkin families, here's what the Myakka River and her banks looked like on Monday afternoon.

The Myakka River is still rising.  As of Tuesday morning at 9:00 AM, the level had become 9.81 feet.  The crest at this time was expected to reach 10.6 by Wednesday.  Whether it achieves that level or goes over that prediction will be something that the homes will be surely watching.  Homes become flooded at 11 feet.  The flooded waters will be on State Road 72 at 11.9 feet.

If you decide to go to the park to check out what's happening, remember your water shoes and camera!  It's supposed to be a sunny day so maybe YOU will get that picture of the fluffy baby limpkin.