Wednesday, February 24, 2021

A Week at Myakka River–Part 2

January 16–24, 2021                                          Most Recent Posts:
Myakka River State Park                        A Week at Myakka River – Part 1
Sarasota, Florida                                Beginning 2021 With Murphy Hanging Around

For those of you who haven’t seen Part 1 of this post, there is a link above.  This one will make more sense if you have read that one first.  For some reason, blogger didn’t want to allow me to post all these pictures together.  HA!  So I fooled them and posted half in Part 1 and half in Part 2.  I’ll try not to include so many pictures next time.  Don’t want to make blogger uncooperative.

Returning to my hydraulic woes mentioned in Part 1.


The fix suggested by HWH didn’t solve the problem so they suggested I order something else, which I did but I’ll have to take it with me when I move and have yet another tech put it on.  I’m up to 3 techs and the next one will be number  4.  Still no slides or jacks.

Every evening I hike a trail along the river,  It starts near the former small wooden visitor center.  It’s through the Maritime Forest along the river bank and is probably my favorite here at Myakka.


There’s just something about these Live Oak trees draped in Spanish Moss that is wonderful.



White Ibis and their reflections in the water.  They are so numerous that folks call them the Florida chicken.  But isn’t that a great bill?  I like the colors at dusk.


There are views of the river all along the trail.


There are gators across the river on the bank opposite the trail and the Live Oaks.


Either this guy had one recent spectacular meal or he’s not getting nearly enough exercise.  Look at the size of him.  Love the reflection in the water.


As the sun dips, the grasses turn golden on the opposite shore.



Ibis and Snow egret appearing to cross swords.


I’ve reached the end of the trail and am headed back when I stop to take this selfie and it’s probably what kept me from missing what happens next.


I’m moseying along as I do on this trail when I sense movement and up ahead I see him.  Do you see him?  I stop dead on the trail. 


He’s apparently come across the river and is walking up and into the woods crossing the trail right in front of me.  I sneak up this close and wait to see what he’s going to do.


Mostly I see gators in the water or laying on the bank.  I don’t often see them up on their feet with their legs extended.


I was so entranced by his walking that I didn’t think of taking a video of it until almost too late.  He walked quite a bit while I watched but I only got the last step before he plopped down with his tail over the trail – of course.

You can see that video here.     Let me know if it works.


I decided it wasn’t prudent to walk behind him near the water so I swung a wide arc out in front of him through the brush which is thick in the forest.  I tried to keep my eye on him – but this was the  last I could see before it got too thick.


When I thought I’d gone beyond him, I cut back in but as you can see, I wasn’t far enough away I didn’t think.  So back into the bush.


Finally I got back on the trail and was sorry that I couldn’t have stayed to watch and see what he did but it was getting dark and it didn’t seem wise.


After that adventure, this view made me laugh out loud.  Looks like alligator jaws to me.



On the other side of the river I saw something big and black.  My camera lens showed it to be one of the wild boar that tear up the park and for which the park has cages and I believe licensed hunters.

I wonder if a piglet could have been the dinner that so greatly expanded the alligator I’d seen earlier.


Another spot I like to visit in Myakka is the bird walk where I went the following day.  It’s a long pier that runs out into Lake Myakka and usually has great bird viewing.


But this week the lake was very low and there were not many birds and those that were here were very far away.  A spotting scope would have been good.


With my camera I managed to pick up a few black necked stilts and several herons and egrets.



A group of Royal Terns flew in at one point.



There wasn’t much activity so I walked along the lake around to the Myakka River Outpost where they have a restaurant, small ice cream stand, gift shop, kayak and canoe rentals and a boat tour.  It’s a little over 2 miles between the pier and the outpost.


At some points, my walk was further from the water than at others.


I passed a wild boar trap/cage but it was closed.



For a good part of my walk I had company also walking down the shore.  There were 9 or 10 wild turkeys but I never saw the Tom.  They paraded along the edge of the trees on one side and I on the other.



I am so happy that the previous airboat tours of Lake Myakka have been replaced by pontoon boats.  Well done Florida State Parks.  Although I wonder what sort of Covid restrictions the boat has.  Florida is not very strict.


I arrive at the inlet where kayaks and canoes are rented.  In the distance is the Outpost which is literally up on posts.  The Pontoon dock is right next to it.


I don’t stop at the Outpost but walk on by through the trees headed for the old Weir where there are usually gators and birds, one in particular that I want to see.


There were a number of different birds hanging out here in numbers – stilts, herons, egrets and too many black vultures.  But I’d seen them all previously.  I’d come to find the Roseate Spoonbills.



Their pinks weren’t quite as rosy as I’ve seen before but aren’t those bills GREAT!



I know, too many pictures, but just a couple  more.  I doubt I will see them again this year.



Roseate spoonbills what a treat!  And if that wasn’t enough, I had one scoop of what Edy’s is calling Camo Hero.  Normally I avoid anything that sounds, looks or spells camo but I couldn’t resist what they described as “toasted marshmallow and graham cracker ice cream with trenches of peanut butter icing and chunks of chocolate cookies” 


I did wonder what made it green if there were no pistachios in it.  But it was delicious and fortified me for my long walk back.


On my way I came upon the same or another group  of wild turkeys and now I know “why the turkey crossed the road”.


Aren’t their bronze and shining colors gorgeous?


On my final morning in Myakka, as I was packing up, I was being observed by this tiny toad.


I have small hands.  This toad was TINY!


Do all toads look grumpy or was he just tired of my attention?


Well, I did it, I got the entire blog posted even if in two parts but now I’m WAY behind.

I’m headed about 90 miles south to Koreshan State Historic Site for two weeks.  If you’ve never heard of it, look it up.  What a history.

From there I went to Kissimmee Prairie for two weeks where the internet signal caused much of the posting problem.  I’m now at Silver Springs, my last Florida State Park for this winter.

I’m working on the Koreshan Post now and will try to get it up in a few days.  Don’t want to inundate you too much so that you tire of commenting.  <grin>


  1. So are you using Blogger now to publish?

    1. I'd quit logging before I use straight blogger. The problem with OLW appeared to be twofold, weak signal and too many pictures

  2. Yes, I would not have been happy about the gator, even though they claim they don't think of adult humans as food, just babies and little pets. Nice Roseates. Sounds like you are still having fun aside from your RV issues. Allegra and I are going to our beach house next week for some mother/daughter time. Ted will stay with our aged kitty.

    1. Beach time with your daughter sounds great. I'd love to do that with Carrie but I fear it will be a long time with a her full-time job and two kids.

  3. I love that oak in the fourth photo - a good climbing tree. And the second shot of the water and sunlit grasses through the trees is very pretty- nicely framed. Gator video— it’s jarring to see him behaving so much like a creature of the land; I thought reptiles were only creepers or slitherers. I'm glad you got around him! Can’t tell how long he was? That teeny toad is so cute (although he looks as though he'd be quite offended at that)! That's a lot of grump for such a tiny fellow.

    1. love your comments. I'm sure the toad would be offended at being described as cute. A lot of grump is exactly right. I wish I had thought to turn the video on the camera before the gator was taking his very last step. It was great watching him walk up on those legs. He was probably 10 ft maybe 12. See you tonight.

  4. Koreshan was quite the experience. Grounds are very pleasant during non-mosquito season!

    Virtual hugs,


    1. Yes I've been to Koreshan several times. The story is for one of a better term far out. Hoping Gary continues to improve.

  5. I just love Myakka River SP!!! More great photos and you captured pictures of 2 of my favorites...the Spoonbills and Black Necked Stilts. How could you not love birds with PINK legs�� I am also a fan of the alligators...just so'em!!!

    1. Thank you Nancy that's quite a compliment coming from you. It was great watching that Gator stroll up on the land on top of those legs.

  6. Replies
    1. They are William. And there are a lot of them here.

  7. Yes amazing. And up on their legs, they can run very fast. Much more than you would think. Glad he avoided you as he lumbered on.

    1. I think it's more that I avoided him knowing how fast they can run. I feel more comfortable with them on the bank and me in my kayak on the water.

  8. Lol. I had a typo in my comment and it let me delete it, but now it's announcing my deletion. Anyway...neat gator encounter! And, I love Roseate Spoonbills. They are some of my favorite birds. Love seeing them when I can and pictures of them when I can't. Thanks for the great pictures. Nice to see and read about what you're up to - wish I could be there too!

  9. Yes that's how blogger does delete but I can get rid of it which I did. Yes I guess it was neat encountering a gator on land. Wish I'd thought to turn on the video when I first saw him walking up but I was considering my options since he had just taken over the path. Good thing he didn't feel threatened given how fast he can run and how close I was. Glad you like the pictures.

  10. The moss on the trees makes for a fantasy forest. But that fantasy went away with the gator. Better to walk with turkeys. The Roseate spoonbills are fantastic. And the ice cream sounds yummy but why green. If you weren't in FL I'd have called that toad a horned lizard. As always, I love your photos and stories of places I don't know.

    1. I wondered the same thing about the green ice cream and worried that they might have dyed it so they could call it camo. Wish you could come join me in Florida one winter.

  11. Your gator encounter reminded me of bear encounters I’ve had while hiking. Always difficult to decided which way to go. Around the front of the animal or back or just stand still and wait for it to pass. What I wouldn’t give to see a Roseate Spoonbill in person. They look like such interesting birds. Thanks for all the great pictures.

    1. Yes Doris I know just what you mean. I met many black bears on the trail in Shenandoah National Park the summer I spent there. I'd usually stand still and watch. You are welcome for the pictures. thank you for the comment.

  12. I doubt that a piglet would have made that gator so big. You probably missed that empty kayak with teeth marks on it floating nearby... :cD

    1. You are so funny Paul. Thanks for always bringing a smile to my face.

  13. Never actually have seen a strolling gator! wow. we did pass lots of lazy looking gators lying on the pavement as we passed them on our bikes at Shark Valley. They weren't very scary, lying still in the sun. Seeing one walking would be definitely scary, and I would have given him a wide berth as well! Good job!. You know how very much I love the roseate spoonbills. A highlight of our Florida and Texas travels both in 2014 when we met you and Davie and in 2019. Wonderful posts, both of them. And I love the photos. Glad you managed to get them to go up. Knock on wood, I usually wait till we are back home to try to write and post the blog, a luxury not possible when you are full timing. But at least at home we have a strong signal and LiveWriter usually works. Not always, but usually.

    1. I sure wish I'd thought to turn the video on when I first saw him. Glad I could provide some roseate spoonbills for you. They seem to be popular with everyone. Probably because they are rare in this country. Thank you so much for such an encouraging comment.

  14. All of your bird sightings are so wonderful! And most especially the spoonbills, for which I have an inordinate fondness. They're so striking, with that pink color and that outrageous bill. You are much braver than I am around gators, though. Even though I grew up in Florida and have spent many hours kayaking, I don't feel relaxed when they're around. It's something about those big teeth and that tiny brain they have, lol.

    1. Everybody loves the spoonbills. Striking is the exact word. Gators really don't both me. Though I prefer to have them in the water and me in the kayak than them and me on the ground. HAHA big teeth, tiny brain.

  15. Trenches, TRENCHES!!! of peanut butter icing, WOW!!!
    Yes, that toad looked grumpy!!

    1. Don't you love that description? That's why I put it. Trust me there were NOT trenches of peanut butter icing. But it was good.
      Great to hear from you Loree.

  16. That huge gator doesn't look real - he's sooooo wide! Very cool to see one up on land, glad he wasn't as interested in you. Still can't get over how long those tails are! Looks like we're all spoonbill lovers, and lucky you to see so many up close. They always seem to be just beyond good focus range for me :-( Such pretty shine on those turkeys. I was starting to think you'd passed up the ice cream and was happy to see I was wrong :-))

    1. Yes he looked SO FAT. No idea what he ate. Gators don't make me nervous when I'm in a kayak but on land is a different story. I may be the only one who thinks wild turkeys are beautiful. Pass up ice cream? Not likely. LOL!

  17. Beautiful photos, though you got way too close to the gator. Hope the new part does the trick.

    1. Thanks Brenda. That gator definitely surprised me by walking across the path in front of me.

  18. sure enjoyed your Florida pictures, just white snow up here. Do the slides have their own motors?

    1. There's one hydraulic motor for all the jacks and the two slides. I replaced it. Snow has its own beauty but the cold makes it hard to enjoy. Good to hear from you.

  19. Myyaka River has always been a favorite of mine. We'll actually be at Silver Springs starting March 2. If you're still there, maybe we'll see you!

  20. I'll be at Silver Springs at that point. Glad you were able to get a site at Myakka. It's getting nearly impossible Jan thru March. What are you traveling in now? Still have the two 5th wheels??

    1. No, no. We'll be in Silver Springs on the 2nd for 3 nights. Sounds like you'll still be there :-). We're site 17. And we just have one fifth wheel. Never had two! Hopefully we'll run into each other next week. We've been social distancing :-).

    2. Clearly I misread. I'll try to stop by. I thought you had one 5th wheel in the Keys and one in Blairsville.

    3. I know what's going on. You're thinking of Karen and Al. We're Al and Karen...had the 2 big dogs and tortured ourselves working at Amazon for too long 😊.

  21. I saw that alligator video before you posted this and you know how I feel about alligators! Sherry!!! Glad that you made it past him without losing a limb. :-) Love this park and all of the beautiful birds. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Pam, you really must fly down and join me and I'll take you out on the water and show you how uninterested in you the gators are. I was a little concerned when he walked up on land since that's not a place I'm used to being around them and didn't want him to feel threatened by me since he can run really fast.

  22. I always think alligators are like icebergs, so little on top of the water, hiding those long legs underneath the water. The spoonbills have such a beautiful color, nature is amazing!

    1. Nature is for sure amazing Laurie. Good to hear from you.

  23. Looks like Myakka is a beautiful place, full of wildlife and birds. I love seeing 'green healthy plants since the terrible sequence of storms here in Texas has left many things brown and many things dead. Only time will tell the true extent. Of course, the plant life is just one facet of the devastation left behind in Texas. So many beautiful birds in Florida....and many large species. Enjoyed the photos of the spoonbills. That alligator on land so close to you is something to be concerned about. It is true that I usually see them lazing around on the river banks. They look so prehistoric. Looks like you have been having weather to smile about. Warm sunshine is a spirit lifter. Now, if we could only get Winnona to cooperate with those slides. Looks like you enjoyed your two weeks there.

  24. Getting caught up on my blog reading. I was bummed we couldn't get reservations at Mayakka the winter we came through there. I've spent a day there many years ago. Great gator encounter, we're on the move tomorrow and we'll be in a TX state park full of gators. Love the Roseate spoonbill pictures. The ice cream looks like a wonderful treat.


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