A couple of weeks ago, while staying at Myakka River State Park, near Sarasota, Florida, we decided to take an afternoon ride to explore the park. We noticed a gravel road off the main road and turned in. Traveling down unexplored roads, not knowing what lies ahead, is a thrill and what keeps us motivated to continue doing what we do. We reached a dead end, parked the car, got out and began to explore.
There were a couple of picnic tables; however the area didn’t seem to be visited as often as some of the other well known parts of the park. The grass showed no worn pattern and there wasn’t any trash on the ground.
From our vantage point at the top of the river bank, we could see the coffee colored Myakka River below, lazily meandering along. The filtered rays of the sun reflecting off its surface.
Finally, our eyes landed on a beautiful and unexpected sight. On a tree branch, that hung out over the river, sat a Green Heron. You can bet he spotted us before we spotted him.
The heron was resting with one leg tucked under its belly and occasionally it would begin to preen. I hope it had a full belly.
It didn’t seem concerned about us being there; we were perhaps fifteen feet away. The density of the trees and surrounding foliage, blocking sunlight, created a photo challenge.
The heron continued to pose for me and remained unconcerned of our presence.
I treasure experiences like this – the joy of being out in nature, the welcoming silence of the woods, the calming affect of the flowing water and the unexpected pleasure of a sighting.
The pleasure was all mine. After a while we got back into the car and as we traversed the gravel road, back to the main road, we carried with us a fond memory.
Until next time….