I had just turned onto Rye Wilderness Road NE in Manatee County when the riot of colors caught my attention. A cross bearing the photo of a young woman, along with a wooden reindeer and cascades of flowers and plants, paid tribute to a life ended too soon here next to the meandering Braden River. While I don’t know the story of her life, I know it was too short and this was the end for her. May she rest in peace.
I knew we would see alligators at Big Hole in Myakka River State Park, but I didn’t know the vultures would be in such abundance. A committee (yes, a group of vultures is called a wake, committee, venue, kettle or volt) of vultures is one of the first things we saw as we entered the Big Hole area on a recent photo safari. As this quartet lined up on the shoreline, I wondered who was eyeing whom? Were the gators hoping for a feathery meal a slow vulture could provide or were the vultures banking on an old gator buying the farm right there in front of them. Either way, it was quite a choice!
Week 41: WOW
A recent photo safari to Myakka River State Park was a chance to photograph the many alligators that live at Deep Hole. It was a fun trip, and fun to shoot the gators. But the WOW factor for me was the incredible natural beauty of the park—the diverse lush grasses and the cooling canopy that protects portions of the park from the harsh Florida sun. At 58,000 acres, it is the largest park in Florida’s state park system, and as our guide told us, the best. Wow. It really is the best.
“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” is a philosophical through experiment that raises questions regarding observation and knowledge of reality. Dial that back to “If a tree falls in a forest and it is covered in Spanish moss, does it soften the blow? We could ponder these questions, or we could just enjoy the image of the ghostly moss dancing up and down the fallen tree trunk, in this case a long leaf pine in rural Manatee County near Rye Road. The afternoon sun backlit the moss and I couldn’t pass it by.