Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Myakka River

First photo of the day, taken at 7:43 AM.  The Park opens at 8.  I had to wait.  I should have rolled over and went back to sleep at 4 AM.  But figuring I would not sleep, but think abut kayaking, I got up, out, and on my way.  Drove at, or just under the speed limit once I got past Disney, washed all the windows when I stopped for gas,  made a detour when I exited I-75 in Sarasota, looking for free maps and coupon books, found one at a Holiday Inn, used the restroom, another at a 7-11, back on the road to Myakka, went into Twin Lakes Park,  a Sarasota Count facility,  went down the road to the gate of the Wilderness Preserve, and still had to wait at the main gate.
 Next photo, 57 minutes later. Stopped at the Ranger Station to get a Wilderness permit, slowly drove the Park Road, looking for wildlife, stopping at the little parking area across from the Canopy Walkway, scouting it for my takeout spot, continuing to the concession area at Upper Lake Myakka, parking, getting the kayak off the car, wheeling it on the above path to the far side of the dam.
Where these wood storks, and more, waited.

 Walk back to the car.
Dropped the car off at the spot I scouted earlier.  I used the same location this weekend, last year.  On the bike, headed back to where I left the kayak.
 Had a delay

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.
 The ibis below were further down the road.
 Parked the bike, walk to the kayak
 Last year, I had to shoo the vultures off my kayak
 Black necked stilt

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.
Glossy ibis

 Red shouldered hawk

 Looking back at an area where I walked.


 Is that?
Yes. Bald eagle.


Glossy ibis

 Yellow legs. Great or lesser? I'm guessing, lesser

 I had not see alligators, since the start of my trip, due to low water.  Now, as there was the occasional deeper pool, they began to emerge.

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!
 Passed the car.  A fisherman asked how deep it was.  I put my paddle down.  About 3 feet.  The ocean, compared to earlier.  The paddle had been frustrating.  The constant in and out, combined with a strong, steady, south wind.  In my face.  The harbinger of a cold front.

 Black crowned night heron
 A congregation of alligators near the Park Road bridge





Osprey and cormorant

This group of gators were just before the State Road 72 bridge.  A gaggle of motorists stopped to gawk.

Into the Wilderness Preserve

 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.


 Belted kingfisher
 Juvenile blue heron
 Juvenile black crowned night heron
 Green heron
 Tricolored heron
 I ran aground, above.  Around the bend, I heard a gator jump off the bank.   I figured this was the start of where the River got shallow again.  Having had enough of walking, and having no reason to cross a wind Lower Lake Myakka to look for alligators at Deep Hole, I turned around.


The strong south wind pushed me up River


A gator was on top of the bank, above.  Looked at me, and did a belly slide into the River.





 This big'un almost made the opening photo.  Until I decided to begin at the beginning.

Or, was it this one?


 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


Landed at 2:15. Sat down and had lunch, before loading the kayak. The view.
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. 

 Looking at these deer.
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

 I wondered what agitated these coots.  A Park Ranger, watching from his vehicle, said, "That hawk hasn't got one yet".  I had not noticed it when taking the photo.  Must have swooped in.
 The birdwalk

Upper Myakka Lake

 A nest. Fish, not bird.
How the birdwalk looked in August, from the kayak
 I'll have to remember to put a dollar in my pocket next time

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.
 The Bay side.  Turtle Beach is at the south, narrow, end of Siesta Key.  The Gulf is across the road.

I arrived just before 5.  Sunset was at 5:55 or so.  The blue sky of the day was just about gone.

 The Gulf was much greener here then in Cedar Key or Sanibel.  I'm thinking the water is deeper, and no nearby land masses.

 Rocks protecting condos at the south end of the public beach.  I was hoping to catch a spray shot
I failed


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.
 I took a few pictures

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.

1 comment:

Luis said...

Those are big gators. Impressive size.