Tuesday December 22nd 2020
It was a bright sunny and cool day. The high temperature for the day was in the mid sixties. Tonight is forecast to drop into the high forties. The real change to cool temperature comes after the next cold front on Christmas Eve.
Myakka River State Park is getting busy. Last week there was plenty of parking available at all the turn outs along the park road. This morning there was no room to stop at several of the more popular stops. The main parking lot at the Outpost on Upper Myakka Lake was also close to full. Many of the occupants of those cars were new to the park. They wandered around randomly looking for things to see. The repeat visitors get out of their car and make a beeline to the dam area where all the birds and alligators hang out. There were so many people at the dam today that the birds were keeping their distance. I suspect the crowds are also keeping the deer away from the roads. I may not see anymore deer during my visit.
The park is a major draw for the nature lovers in this part of Florida. While I was in the Sarasota area this afternoon, I didn’t see a lot of extra traffic. The number of cars with out of state license plates was also low. The media is reporting that the number of tourists and snowbirds is lower, but an increase for the holidays is taking place. Wear a mask, social distancing and avoid gatherings remains the mantra. There just seems to be less specificity and consequences in some areas of Florida than I’m lead to believe exist in some northern areas.
In the week that I’ve been here the water level has continued to drop. Areas that were under water last week are now dry. The areas that the gators use for taking the daytime sun seems to be moving. Today I found gators in areas that were under water last week. There weren’t as many alligators near the bridge across the river. The large number of visitors had to do more hiking to see alligators.