Three Weeks at Myakka

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.

Taken from the Park Drive bridge, May 27, 2012. The Myakka River gauge on this day was 0.07 inches. There was, essentially, no river.

I walked down the bank to the river bed and shot this photo looking back at the Park Drive Bridge.

Taken from the north river bank, looking back towards the Park Drive bridge. May 27, 2012

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.

Taken on the Myakka River bed, facing north on May 27, 2012. The river gauge this day recorded 0.07″.

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.

A completely dry river bed on Myakka River, May 27, 2012.

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.

Fishing on the Myakka River, June 3, 2012.

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.

June 10, 2012. Myakka River level at 4.65′.

And at the Park Drive bridge there was no longer any chance to shoot the bridge from below.

Park Drive bridge, June 10, 2012.

The remarkable and ever-changing Myakka River State Park had once again amazed everyone with its ability to rejuvenate, seemingly over-night.

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