Walking through part of Myakka before Spring Break was a great experience I had been putting off since December. After spending two weeks cooped up in my house, working almost all day on the computer on an accelerated course (gotta’ squeeze those last-minute credits in some how), I had made a promise to myself to get out to the park – which unfortunately never happened until our little trip out there. If I had just gone by myself, I don’t think I would have even realized that little building tucked away in the corner of the park was an education center. It was definitely an interesting experience going through it – Mounds State Park in Indiana had something similar (dioramas with taxidermied native fauna), but not quite to that extent.
Between the education center, and getting the chance to discuss some of Myakka’s environmental history, it was interesting looking back and seeing the park with new eyes. On previous visits to the park, my general assumption had been that the sandy, somewhat chaotic-looking areas on the walking paths were natural – what typically occurs. Learning that it came from the invasive and booming boar population made walking through such areas somewhat saddening, knowing that the root cause behind the destruction was caused by humans bringing the boars in the first place.
It also reminded me somewhat of my friend, Wes – essentially the next Crocodile Hunter in the making (aside from the Australian accent and enthusiastic croc-tackling). He’s gone on several treks through Myakka, filming the wildlife he comes across and essentially creating little mini-documentaries about them (alongside helping those he can – he’s rescued and rehabilitated a number of snakes who have been hurt, and then released them back into the wild after they’ve recovered). You can check out some of his menagerie here, while his mini-documentaries can be found here.