Palm forests disturbed with digging and debris, spooky oaks overwhelmed by Spanish moss and lichen, black vultures ominously gathered in crowds, and menacing alligators on the shores. Surely, Hell must look like this place! Or so I thought on my first visit to Myakka River State Park.
Almost ten years later, I am of a different mind. I know black vultures to be the most social and entertaining of birds, alligators are largely benign and sometimes fascinating creatures, and the trees and forests teem with surprising life found in few other places.
This exhibit is an apology to the misjudged as much as it is a song to celebrate a unique place. A place that I have come to love through hours spent at the birdwalk and miles walked to and from Deep Hole, as well as to the time and space between.
When an acquaintance recently asked me why I like Myakka, I said, “It speaks to me.” There is little more or better we can say about a place. I hope these photographs of that place speak to you.