Located nine miles east of Sarasota FL, Myakka River State Park is one of the oldest and largest Florida state parks and protects one of the state´s most diverse natural areas. On April 19, my Dad and I headed out for a day of hiking and picnicking with the hope of seeing a few cool Florida herp species.
We were in luck! Wildlife was everywhere at this beautiful park. At the picnic grounds, however, it was obvious that a few people had broken the rules against feeding wildlife because we were mobbed by cunning gray squirrels and even vultures as we enjoyed our delicious chips and sammies.
Squirrels and vultures were not the only non-herps we saw that day however. A Florida invader made his presence known as Dad and I hiked through the jungle.
Next, we found an animal that is native to both Florida and Virginia.
Florida’s most famous herp was abundant in the lakes and ponds in the park.
We also saw tons of anoles – mostly Cuban anoles which are an introduced species that has been displacing the naive Carolina anole from Florida.
After spending time hiking around the forest floor, it was time to head up, up, up into the canopy. We took a walk through the treetops and then climbed a 74-foot tower for an eagle’s-eye view of natural Floridian hammocks and wetlands.
Whew, after all the hiking and climbing, we were both pretty tired. So we headed back to the house for some relaxing. And I found one more animal.
For more information on visiting Myakka Lake State Park, visithttp://www.floridastateparks.org/myakkariver/default.cfm