Two women were on the side of the road, looking into the woods. They began to walk in. I stopped, saw what they saw, and followed.
I think the above gator is the first from the kayak pic. 9:33.
The River was very shallow. Which I knew, as the Park website has a link to the USGS stream flow info. Had I looked at that before booking a hotel on Priceline Tuesday night, I may not have come. When I obtained the Wilderness permit, the ranged said I would be portaging often in that area. Which, for now, was far downstream.
I had got out of the kayak at least once when the above photo was taken. I usually keep the water bottle on the floor. Except when I am getting out of the kayak. And in. And out. And in. And out. And in. Ad infinitum. And outfinitum.
Yes. Bald eagle.
Black crowned night heron. Speaking of flight, saw a bald eagle harass an osprey. Until the later dropped its fish. The eagle dove after the falling fish, nabbed it. Bullying someone smaller than you, stealing its lunch, Ladies and Gentlemen: Your National Symbol!
Osprey and cormorant
This group of gators were just before the State Road 72 bridge. A gaggle of motorists stopped to gawk.
Did not lose a finger when picking up a plastic bag.
More alligators than I have ever seen on this part of the River. My guess they were here as the water level was too low further down stream. And on the banks as they knew rain and cooler temps were on the way. Perhaps they do not "know" but ancient instinct works just as well.
Juvenile black crowned night heron
The strong south wind pushed me up River
Just upstream of the Park bridge are two channels. One had a sandbar near where they meet, close to where the car was. But, seeing the flock below, I made a detour up that channel.
It was worth it. I turned back when the water got too shallow.
The pic below is the sand/mud bar
In August, the bench I was sitting on looked like this.
Driving back to the Upper Lake, I saw a car parked on the side of the road, guy with camera out of his vehicle.
I brought both bikes. Saw a lot of cars parked at a trail head, so I decided to ride the road bike on the road
Upper Myakka Lake
How the birdwalk looked in August, from the kayak
I turned in my Wilderness Permit, and asked the rangers where the best public place was to watch the sunset. "Big Flats Campground or the Canopy Walkway" I said I was thinking more over the Gulf. "Siesta Key, but its sooo crowded. Try Venice" I told them I wanted to stay in the Sarasota area, as my hotel was in the north end of town. Venice is south of Sarastoa. "Try Turtle Beach" Which is where I watched the sunset last January. So, off I went.
I arrived just before 5. Sunset was at 5:55 or so. The blue sky of the day was just about gone.
Sunset was canceled.
My car, with the bay, really a small arm in the background. From the top of the staircase over the beach dune.
I was about to leave, when I woman pulled up, and got out of her car with her camera phone.
Turtle Beach is at the south end of Sarasota, my hotel, on the north side.
Marriott Spring Hill Suites
$75 on Priceline. Had the Packers been playing, I would have had to move the desk to see the TV while writing this Tale.