A Hike to “The Deep Hole”

During the first full day of my recent trip in Myakka River State Park, I got up early and headed to the park office to grab one of the cherished “backwoods permits”. The park has an undeveloped, wilderness area and only allows 30 people per day to hike into this pristine area. After obtaining my permit and going into town for some groceries, I started the 2.2 mile hike back to “Deep Hole”.

Along the way, there were several plants/flowers that caught my eye (remember, I’m a Master Gardener) like this unidentified wildflower:

Wildflowers growing along the trail to Deep Hole

and this interesting young plant, with the large fanned out foliage capturing my attention. I presume this is a small palm:

Young palm

Finally, after what seemed an eternity in the upper 80-degree temperature and high humidity (it was a bit of a struggle for me; when I left home, the temps were in the 20’s!), I rounded the last bend in the trail and reached Deep Hole, to find the “welcoming committee”:

Alligators at Deep Hole

Alligators at Deep Hole

Actually, before I could capture the above gator images, I was met by two other persons at Deep Hole, a park ranger and a tv reporter from Channel 10 in Tampa Bay. It was obvious to the reporter that I was a photographer … bulky backpack, a camera and my 100-400mm lens around my neck. He asked me if he could do an interview for his piece on Myakka River he was shooting. I didn’t really want to do it, after all I was red, hot, sticky and tired from the hike in the heat at mid-day. But I gave in. For 5 minutes, I was interviewed. He also got permission to use a few of my photos, and then they left me to myself. A few days later, he was kind enough to send me a link to the tv segment he put together. If you wish to see it, you can click on this link (by the way, I look pretty beat up, due to the heat/humidity/hike, but was fine the next day :o) ):


Coming up … more images of the Deep Hole gators and some of the many birds that reside there. After those posts, I’ll feature some great nesting images from the Venice Rookery.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark II body
  • Canon 100-400mm, f/4.5-f/5.6 IS lens
  • Handheld, with IS “On”
  • ISO 400 and ISO 800
  • Aperture f/8 (all photos)
  • Shutter 1/200 sec. to 1/1250 sec.



Posted in Landscape Photography, Nature Photography, Reptiles and Amphibians, Travel Photography, Wildflowers
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