Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Magical Myakka

Yarik told us he thought Myakka State Park was magic. He was right.

Located east of Sarasota, Myakka State Park is a vast area of lakes, ponds, wetlands, rivers and streams, and Florida prairie. Last Saturday, we drove out Hwy 72 from  Interstate 75. About 2 miles short of the park entrance...whop...flat tire. We limped over to a grassy shoulder and called AAA.

As I settled in to wait for the truck, Jerry asked with a grin "did you see the emus?"


"the emus, over there" he pointed to a grassy field behind me bordering a school yard.

Ah...sandhill cranes...even better.

There they were, two 4-foot high, slender, gray beauties with their bright red skull caps. They glided in tandem across the grass, occasionally stopping to investigate for bugs. Nice company for the wait.

When we arrive at Myakka, the day was warm but without much humidity. Gators sunned along a river bank with herons fishing nearby while wood storks flew up from wetlands.

Black vultures soared in the air after which they sunned themselves on the banks of Lake Myakka.  We also saw a bald eagle, osprey, white pelicans, and a flock of ibis over the waters of the lake.

We ate a grilled cheese sandwich from the concession cafe at the boat launch. We sat in the shade munching on chips and watched kayakers navigate the channel leading to the lake. Off to the side, a little yellow-rumped palm warbler silently hopped and dashed about the leaf rubble under a bush.

Jerry and I visited the park for just a few hours, but we will return. There are lakes to paddle, paths to walk, a canopy boardwalk to hang out in, fish to catch, and cabins to rent.

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