On May 27th I travelled out to the Park and found the drought situation was more severe than ever. The official river gauge was 0.07 inches. In short, there was no Myakka River. Check out this photo from the Park Drive bridge.
I walked down the bank to the river bed and shot this photo looking back at the Park Drive Bridge.
From that vantage point it was an easy trek up the dry river bed. It was quite astonishing to stand on the river bed, knowing that normally the waters would be easily 4-5 feet high. On May 27th there was barely a trickle.
My next stop was just up the road, in a small picnic area that has no name. I’ve taken many pictures here over the years but had never seen things this dry.
Can things get any worse? Probably so but thankfully not. A week later I would return to Myakka River State Park and the contrasts would be amazing. During the week we had one day of good rain here in Sarasota County. But to our north, in Manatee and Hillsborough Counties, there were extended rains. Here is the same spot, one week later.
A remarkable turn around in just seven days. But the real astonishment was waiting on June 10, 2012. After a very wet week in Sarasota County I checked the river gauge for Myakka River. To my astonishment the River had risen from 0.07″ to 4.65′!! And here is the result.
And at the Park Drive bridge there was no longer any chance to shoot the bridge from below.
The remarkable and ever-changing Myakka River State Park had once again amazed everyone with its ability to rejuvenate, seemingly over-night.