August 6, Monday, Myakka Conservancy Preserve – AM
At the entrance to the preserve, we saw that erosion from recent heavy rains had formed deep ruts into the pavement edge. We walked past the pavement and climbed the fence to enter. The path along the river was well kept and we saw a barbeque and trash can of the owners standing in water opposite the riverbank. As we moved closer to take some photos, we scared something into rushing off into the water. It came as a surprise to both of us and later, from the path of disturbed water on the recording, we guessed it to be about a four-foot alligator. There were a few bullfrogs croaking from the riverbank but the next sound breaking the hum of the cicadas came from a hawk. Screeching loudly, it sent a clear message to all that there were strangers on the path. After a few minutes, it flapped off but continued to screech out the warning. We turned to look to the river and saw several floating islands of mangroves moving in the current. Walking back out we saw stopped to look at and to walk on the cement/fabric sandbag treatment on the foot of the bridge.