Settling in at Lake Manatee State Park

Sunday January 2nd 2022

It was windy day ahead of tonight’s passing cold front. The sky was dotted with fluffy white clouds that occasionally blocked the bright sun. The humidity was also high so the low eighties temperature felt even warmer.

The campground had a very big turnover today. When I walked through campground at midday more than half the sites were empty. All of the people that were here for week between Christmas and New Years or even just the New Years holiday weekend had departed. By the time I took my second walk just before sunset the empty sites were all filled with new residents. This park draws a very diverse range of camping equipment from tents to class A diesel pusher motorhomes.

Today I checked out the park for changes since my last visit in March 2021. The biggest change seems to be along the trails. The vegetation has been cut way back. Most of the paths are more than twice as wide as they used to be. The trails are mostly in areas of the park managed by prescribed burns. According to the signage the area is intentionally burned every one to three years. I don’t recall seeing the results of any recent burns, so maybe the heavy pruning is in preparation for another prescribed burn.

I am also in wildlife withdrawal. After two weeks at Myakka River State Park where I saw birds, alligators and deer most every day this park is a big change. Today I saw a dove and a couple of squirrels. Even the wildflowers seem to be in short supply. The yellow blossom I’ve included pictures of is located in the wet ground along the lake and is the only wildflower with any abundance.

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