June 09th, 2022
I see a photo of Joy (on the left) and me (on the right) and our cameras in our hands. We are very clearly out in nature so that can only mean one thing! It 's time for another Photo Safari Report! I am calling this one the Turkey Day in June Hike and soon you shall see why!
We decided to go to Myakka State Park. Even though it is an absolutely gorgeous place, we don't go there very often. We certainly don't avoid it because of the Beautiful Myakka River:
Fear of the amazing wildlife is never a reason for us to stay away either:
And we aren't concerned one bit over the 37,000 acres, the treetop canopy walk, the thickly forested trails, the open meadows, the marshes or the suspension bridge.
Nope, we tend to stay away from Myakka for two reasons.
Reason #1: During rainy season the river floods making hiking virtually impossible. It's still generally driveable and there is a road that bisects the park so if you drive very slowly odds are good that you will see things from the safety of your car. The flooding tends to drive the wildlife much closer to the road than they would normally be. But only part of our photo safari goal is seeing things camera worthy. Another part is the actual hiking. We enjoy the exercise and we aren't getting any taking pictures through the car window! (the third part is spending time together of course)
Reason #2: When it's not rainy season there are people. Lots and lots and LOTS of visitors. We totally understand why people would want to go to Myakka State Park. Heck, it's the same reason why we like to go there. It's gorgeous! BUT we prefer to photo safari in places less people-y.
So this past Tuesday, we decided that it was a sweet spot sort of day, out of the heaviest of the tourist season (which is actually year 'round nowadays) but before the heaviest of the rain. AND we were correct!
One of the things that makes any Photo Safari a particular success is when we see something unusual, something we don't normally see. Sometimes something we have never seen. And this visit to Myakka provided something that I had never seen in Florida before. Turkey's! We saw FLOCKS of them! I honestly couldn't quite believe my eyes. Quite frankly I had no idea that turkeys were even native to Florida. I foolishly believed that they were strictly a New England kind of bird. Once again, I was wrong.
We also saw an inordinate number of deer. We love seeing deer, but it's not really unusual anymore. They are lovely, gentle and beautiful creatures, but fairly common. We still take pictures of them of course:
But then we happened across something we almost never see.....baby deer! Fawns! Not just one but two. Twins! They were so adorable!
It was also dragonfly day! Holy cats! There were so many dragonflies and of such variety! They were colours of the rainbow. And not just dragonflies, but cooperative dragonflies. They practically begged for us to take their pictures as they posed :
And speaking of large numbers of wild animals, we did see far more alligators on this hike than usual. Most of them were quite a distance away and only captured thanks to the invention of the telephoto lens. But a few that were a little closer than I am strictly comfortable with. Not on purpose. We had no idea that we were so close. We were just hiking the trail along a little tributary, happened to look down and yup there he was. Don't worry, you will know which photo it is.
There were other wonderful and beautiful critters of course. We saw lots of gorgeous water fowl of one sort of another naturally, Myakka is first and foremost a river. Water automatically means water birds:
And a few non-water related birds that are also NOT turkeys:
And a coupleof other critters:
I captured a handful of botanicals, not as many as usual though I will say that the vast fields of wildflowers were gorgeous! They just didn't translate very well to photography. Clearly I'm doing something wrong. Oh well, I did get these:
Last but not least, my favourite as you well know, the rando files:
Okay, I'll admit that was a little long. I would apologize but I was just so excited to share all of this with you. The "Turkey Day in June" hike was one of the best we've had in awhile! Who knows when we have another Photo Safari this awesome?
Hope you enjoyed!
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Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.