One of the few animals I saw at Myakka River State Park was a deer near the big lake. She was alone and hiding in the shadow.
Closer to the water I could see some black bellied whistling ducks and black necked stilts.
A crow guarding the parking lot.
Myakka Park, just south of Sarasota, is known for having huge gators. And a lot of them although not as many as the Everglades. Timing is everything to see the big ones. They usually come out to sun themselves late in the afternoon. If it’s really hot, they’ll stay in the water most of the day. I was there early in the morning and only saw a few small ones. There is an area in the park that is off limits that has 100’s of them. The “Deep hole” is a 4 mile round trip hike out to where they are hidden but you have to have a permit to hike out there. The rangers give out 30 permits a day and I heard they are all snatched up in the first hour. I keep saying I want to get down there in the winter and hike out the hole but keep putting it off. I think this winter might be the time.
The sun was just coming up over the trees when I headed out on one trail.
This is a huge park with a lot of wide open spaces. I was out on a rare Monday off so there was hardly anyone there.
A pano with my phone of a dried up lake.
I found some old pictures that I had taken many years ago of my first encounter with roseate spoonbills. These were taken in 2009 with my first DSLR camera, a Nikon D60. I was out walking around at Lake Seminole Park and saw these guys walking along the lake. The water was low and I was able to hike out near the edge and stood in the muck watching these guys feed for at least an hour. I was using my old Sigma 150mm – 500mm lens so they were still pretty far out. Every once in a while they would look up at me but then continue to feed. I remember this morning well.
Some of the friends nearby were mallards and a black neck stilt.
I look over to my left and this tri colored heron was watching me like I was crazy.
Green heron on the shoreline of the lake.
I’m assuming this cardinal can see himself in the window? He kept banging on it. Maybe he could see food inside.
Tricolored heron posing for me.
A very young grackle.
A red winged blackbird.
The black neck stilt couple were still there.
So were the babies. All three were there and just a little bit bigger than the few weeks before I saw them. They were pretty far out in the reeds.
Baby duck taking a bath.
Drying off with his siblings close by.
I saw 4 baby ducks all together without any parent around. They stayed pretty close to each other. They climbed up on the bank and settled in for the night. Hopefully, a parent found them later.
Cattails in the water.
An after work walk around the lake near the office.
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