Florida - Winter 2011

Sarasota, FL

4 February - 29 March 2011

Town Information

Local Map

Photographs and Commentary
Click on picture to enlarge

In 2010 we tried spending a few of weeks in the Sarasota area. We picked an RV Park that we had spent some time in with the kids about thirty years ago to use as our base. Time, as they say, changes memories and the RV park was not as we remembered it... primarily that in order to maximize profit they created new campsites in the existing space and made the new sites tight. We decided that we still wanted to spend time in this area because of the amenities it provides (see "Town Information" link) and found Sun N' Fun Resort and RV Park and made reservations for the Winter of 2011.

We left New York on 30 January, after the worst of the storms that struck the area in December and January (we also left behind about 5 ft of snow in our backyard). We took our time on the way down and had a relatively uneventful trip (only one flat tire that required a replacement of a brand new tire). We didn't keep a journal of our time in Sarasota because this was not one of our "if its Tuesday this must be..." trips. We kept busy, but not with the kind of things that provided much to photograph. We did visit a couple of places, J N "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island and Myakka River State Park in Sarasota in which we took some wildlife pictures.


All of the alligator photographs were taken during two visits to Myakka River State Park. There are two tours available in the park that allow wildlife viewing. One is a tram ride and the other is a boat ride on Myakka Lake.

Alligator in small pool

On our first trip to Myakka River State Park we took a tram ride through forest and open areas of the park to look at wildlife. This ride was a disappointment in that we only saw this alligator cooling off in a small pool. The rainy season which had just ended was dry (unfortunate for wildlife... great for tourists and "snow birds). The water in this pool was receding rapidly and this alligator will soon be looking for another home.

This is not a threatening pose, the alligator is regulating his temperature

Alligator mother protecting its nest, in background

In many trips to "alligator country," I have never managed to photograph an alligator walking



Anhinga (foreground), Stilts (Background)




Glossy Ibis



Great Blue Heron

White Ibis, note crab in its beak

Juvenile White Ibis




Little Blue Heron

Osprey, also known as Fish Hawk


Roseate Spoonbills, background



Snowy Egret


Wood Stork, on Left. Black Vulture, right

This Kite made a series of dives on fish, but came up empty

As Seen on the Road

This Cardinal was a frequent visitor to our site at Sun N Fun RV Resort and would attack our rear window repeatedly. I supposed that he was attacking a rival, his reflection, in our window. I confirmed this when I saw him attack the polished rims of the motor home in the adjacent pipe. This bird must have a constant headache.