Monday, December 16, 2013

Loving it at :-) Myakka River State Park !

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Chuck quickly backed into our beautiful, canopied campsite at the Big Flats campground at Myakka River State Park, east of Sarasota Florida. Huge old oaks, towering pines and drapery of spanish moss welcomed us!
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With the camo color of The MotherShip, we blend right into the background!

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Looking out our back window, all we see are more palms and the wide open Florida prairie where the deer and the wild pigs entertain daily!

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DoogieBowser makes himself comfey! Later, Radar grabs Doogie’s perch!
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Camped near us was this cool RV with an even cooler car tag “R RDTRIP”
And even cooler was their towed car and the car tag it wears!
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Early morning starts gently at our campground, slivers of sunshine invading the wild woods.

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Wild towering palms and draperies of spanish moss catching the sun!
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Canopied roads, ancient oak trees reaching out across the road ways to touch it’s neighbor on the opposite side providing shade for all.
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Our first day there, Chuck saw this bald eagle. Of course I had my wide angle lens on and had to crop like crazy to get any sort of photo at all…. 
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Great Blue Heron looking for lunch. Myakka River State Park is teeming with wildlife. Grab your camera and your longest lens and you will not be disappointed!
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Alligator swimming towards a Roseate Spoonbill, a Snowy Egret and a couple of Cormorants. Below, the spoonbill decides to leave the alligator and heads to the resting area of several wood stork.
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Kayaking is popular here as well as canoeing.
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Not sure, but the heron above is probably a Little Blue or maybe a Tri-colored.

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Just another Gator peeking up out of the water……
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The trees at Myakka are loaded with air plants! Everything from Resurrection Fern to Bromeliads thrive here!
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Airboat tours are available and these ladies have a front row seat!
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Vultures! Lots and lots of vultures! Tis the mating season and they gather in warm sunny Florida to find their love life high in the skies….   and next to some not so prudent tent campers who left their snacks out on their picnic table , below.
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More vultures and alligators!  Look at that big boy’s tooth…..  
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This is the beginning of the Canopy Trail. It will take you back to the tall tower below and a suspension bridge taking you from one tower to another.
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Since I do not do stairs well, and these towers meant a lot of stairs, I handed Chuck the camera and up he went.
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At the top of the tower, you get a full 360 degree view of Myakka River State Park.
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  Two views of the suspension bridge  .                          Myakka swinging walkway 123
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Anhinga, also known as the “snakebird” because it swims below the water with only its head and long slender neck above water.
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Great Blue Heron
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Osprey sitting in a pine. Just moments before, I saw this bird in the sky and purposely bumping into a vulture making it tumble a bit. After the hit, the osprey gave a loud victory call, bragging to the world!
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Wood storks resting by the waters edge.
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Fishing is good from the bridge! These folks are using cast nets to catch tilapia.
Tilapia are non-native and  considered an invasive species of fish. Myakka will allow you to keep all the non-native fish, but you must return all native fish to the water!
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Another deer taking a break in the shade.
The end to another wonderful day at Myakka River State Park! Chuck and I love Florida State Parks so much, we have decided we would like to volunteer here.  We got a contact name and number and called and left a phone message expressing our interest in  becoming volunteers at Myakka. That was Friday afternoon, and by golly, this morning we got a return phone call and seems like we may have a very good chance of working here this spring for a few months! YaY!  Keep your fingers crossed for us!
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From the crew of the MotherShip, Chuck, Geri and our furkids DoogieBowser and Radar, we hope you enjoyed seeing this wonderful Florida park with us!
We are now camped at Highlands Hammock State Park near Sebring FL. Another jewel in the Florida State Parks Crown!

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  1. Beautiful pictures and and thinking positive thoughts on the hosting job. When will you know for sure? Weather is beautiful here - 60's - yard weather.

  2. We sent in our written applications today, after a short phone conversation this morning. I hope we will know by January!!! Wow! Nice weather for you.... hooray!

  3. Your first heron is indeed a little blue heron. The second heron pic is a tri-colored heron. No Great Blues in this post. :)

    1. Thanks Judith, you are certainly the person I trust to know water birds!

    2. the two I was calling great blues were very tall birds, which is why I thought they were the great blues, the one I thought might be a little blue was much smaller, as was the one that I thought was the tri was also very small! I need you here Judith! I am confused!LOL but I bet I will learn which is what when we get over there as volunteers!

  4. Nice pictures, Geri. What a beautiful spot. Hope you get the position. We will come and visit.

    1. It really is a very nice state park, but I have yet to camp in a Florida State Park that I don't like! All have very nice campground areas! We sure hope you make it to Florida this spring! We will meet you where ever !!!!

  5. Thanks of this review.... we may be camping there at some point... Al's Aunt Jean lives in Sarasota and we would like to visit her. My question.... how worried should we be with Pheebe and the aligators ?


    1. Chuck laghs and says, "It depends on the length of your leash!" I think there would be little to no cause to worry in the camping areas. No dogs allowed on the trails. There were several big gators we saw from the bridge, but they were down there and we were up high. Just don't take the Pheebs close to water. We keep our two on leashes and in safe areas away from water or even safer, we leave them behind in The MotherShip!

    2. Met another very nice Ontarian. Helped me back into a VERY challenging spot here at Highlands Hammock. Travels in a class C, names Robert and gave him your blog addy! Though my first love is still the southwest, this ain't too bad!!!! Hope to see ya'!

  6. I think you fell in love with Myakka State Park! It is a beautiful spot... so many birds... Great photo opps... Thanks for all the effort you put into sharing with us. Good luck with the volunteer position!

    1. Actually Sue, we love all the Florida State Parks we have visited. We have been to at least a dozen of the more than 150 state parks in Florida! I will say that Myakka is teeming with wildlife everywhere. I told Chuck, if we get hired there, I want a good long lens like Al Bossence uses! LOL! If we are lucky enough, we hope to visit more of these wonderful parks in the coming years as volunteers!

  7. So, how much playing in the water have you done? Joined those brave souls in the kayaks? :D And three cheers for the intrepid Chuck, climbing the tower!

    Do you get anything for volunteering, like a free campsite for the duration? It definitely looks jungly there, but after all of Sue's wide open spaces, not sure which I prefer!

    1. I grew up in Florida's waters with alligators and copperheads. But now I am too old and too slow to outrun or outswim them so I stick to swimming pools! :-) Chuck flat out refuses to even get toes in the water let alone swim or kayak or anything else where he could end up sharing water space with them! haha
      Yes, we get a free campsite for volunteering 20 hours per week each.
      Volunteering in State Parks is a great way to see any state. Most states only ask that you stay at least 3 months as a volunteer. You can apply online or if you find a park you like, fill out an application while you are there. Chances are you will have to wait several months like we won't start until April if we are accepted, but if you have time you will be hired. Arizona also requests a 3 month volunteer time. Free rent and free utilities is a nice way to go on a limited income!

  8. OMG, this place is So lush and full of life. What a treat to be there for several months. Love the canopy walk, thanks Chuck.

    1. Lush is certainly the right word for Myakka River State Park! Where we are now, in Highlands Hammock, you get to glimpse at a piece of WILD Florida, wild and lush, the way the first explorers must have seen it when they arrived. I will be writing about this park nest!

  9. Florida State Parks are one of the best travel buys available. We especially enjoyed Myakka when we visited last winter. Good luck h your volunteer application - it would be a great gig.

  10. Thank you for your good luck wishes! Yes, Florida State Parks do offer good annual pass discounts plus 65 or over Florida residents get 50% discount!

  11. Fingers crossed you are an "IN"! They'd be crazy not to take you! Alligators... Ecks...I guess I'm a whimp! But ventured out on a few trails here...haven't seen anything yet?!

  12. Alligators are in Florida, BUT only near water! Don't walk your pets near water! You are inviting trouble that way! You likely won't find them on established trails, unless the trails go through swamp or near water.
    I hope we get in to Myakka! thanks for keeping your fingers crossed!

  13. Geri and Chuck:
    Thank you so much for your Florida State Park suggestions. I have been in Destin since Saturday. Did some exploring today, went to Top Sail and it is a great little intimate park with some privacy. Drove by several commericial ones and they are expensive and crowded. Our condo is next to Henderson Beach State Park. I really didn't realize that there were so many State Park camping options in the Destin area. My Casita is ready but I'm not picking it up until March 13 because of the cold weather.

    Thank you again
    Phyllis in Oklahoma

  14. Hi Phyllis! Glad we could help! Florida State Parks are great! I am a bit behind in my blogging because of a horrible cold! YUCK! Just can't seem to shake it and get my energy back! Enjoy Florida!

  15. Looks as though you two are truly enjoying the "good life" I enjoy looking at the great photos of your adventure....keep them coming.



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