Our class trip to Myakka State Park was my first, but definitely not my last. I’ve always wanted to go there, but time constraints from a heavy schedule always got in the way. It was nice to be able to wind down, enjoy nature and get some fresh air. When we first arrived and went into the visitors center, I got to learn a bit about the local birds that I see so often but never really learned the names of. Some of these reside in my apartment complex’s pond, and I see on a daily basis. Having grown up in Pennsylvania, I always found it interesting to have such large birds wandering around, often not even afraid of people. The most we had in PA were buzzards and hawks, none of which you could get up close to.
Climbing to the top of Myakka’s tower was a great experience as well, and you got to see what it might be like from a birds eye view, from just over 75 feet in the air. From there, you could see just how massive the state park really was, and even in the surrounding area you could see the merging of different environments – from swamps to meadows to heavily forested land. Being there for only a few hours, we only got a taste of what resides there. The sun was just beginning to set, and the view was breathtaking.
We saw numerous deer, bird life and alligators. Had we not been within a time constraint, I’m sure we would have seen much more. The forests themselves were much different than what I was used to. I never imagined that they would be so sparse in the undergrowth, enough so that someone could easily walk off the path. Back in Pennsylvania, my house was surrounded by forests and fields. The forests there were always very dense – you had to be very delicate when you travelled through them, or the thornbushes and jutting branches would fight back.
Although we didn’t get as much time in the park as I would have liked, I know for sure that I’ll be going back to explore the rest. Hopefully sometime over winter break I can grab my bike and head over for a day to check out all of the trails and sightseeing spots. I look forward to it!