Thursday, December 20, 2012

12/19 Animals of Myakka

This place is full of animals--from birds to reptiles like alligators, all are easily visible from the roads and nature trails.  I have seen several alligators each day just out driving or riding my bike.  And as I posted earlier, there are hundreds and hundreds of turkey and black vultures who spend their winters here.  Down by the lake, you can look up in the sky on any day and see a hundred or so circling.  There are so many that they shoot off special fireworks to keep them from roosting above the campgrounds, where they are known to eat any available black rubber, including windshield wipers and window trim. 

First, here are some of the birds.  The first is a great blue heron.

Next are some wood storks:

And a closeup of a vulture:

And a couple of alligators:

A big turtle:

And some deer and a couple of racoons nearby in a tree:

And while I could not get pictures of wild pigs, here is some of the damage they have done.  Very large areas of the undergrowth look as if someone has come in and rototilled it.  They are supposed to have 2,500 pigs in this park, and do trap quite a few each year, but they multiply very quickly.

One funny thing is that I have so far been in two campsites in this park.  One had a tiny green tree frog living under the cover of the electrical hookup post and scurried to hide everytime I peeked inside.  My new campsite has some other kind of frog, but this one was brown, doing the same hiding trick every time I plug in or unplug.  Lots of very tiny salamanders of some sorts always scampering away, also.

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