|By: Paul S. Cilwa||Viewed: 9/20/2019
|Topics/Keywords: #65thBirthdayTrip #Florida #Lakeland #MyakkaRiverStatePark #Travel||Page Views: 1918|
|All about the twentieth day of my 65th Birthday Trip.|
Today's travels took us near Tampa and to a visit with my oldest high school friend. (Oldest refers to the time we've known each other, not to age—I'm actually older than he is, by a few months.) But first…there was a matter of a bear or alligator.
|Starting Point||Myakka River State Park, Florida|
|Ending Point||Lakeland, Florida|
|Accommodations||Mooching off my friend Chris and his wife|
|Estimated Driving Time||1 hour 24 minutes|
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Myakka River State Park was an excellent campground, clean and quiet. But then, during the night, both Keith and I had become aware that something was prowling around outside the tent, knocking over things we'd left outside on the picnic table. There was no food, but there were a couple of containers that might look like they contained food to a hungry critter.
Knowing that Keith is as nervous about alligators as Floridians would be about Arizona's rattlesnakes and scorpions, I kind of didn't point out that the park rules had specifically warned of their presence.
But as I was taking my customary photos of camp, I realized that something had reached into our tent through the tiny hole meant for a power cord and managed to pull out some of our garbage bag, which I happened to have put in the same corner. (Our site included electricity, which I had used to charge our devices while we slept.)
Inside it was clear that the creature had smelled our discarded food containers and tried to get to them. I guess I won't be keeping the trash bag in that corner anymore!
Then, walking to the restroom, I spotted a whole flock of buzzards on top of the building. I couldn't help but wonder...what were they doing there? What could they possibly expect was going to happen that would require their presence in such numbers? I also wondered what the collective noun would be. If they were crows, they would be a "murder of crows". (It's true; look it up.) I'd never heard the collective noun for buzzards, so I looked it up. It's a "wake", as in, "a wake of buzzards". But what attracts them? How many people die in this campground, that it is worth their while to wait up there?!