|alligator tracks lead to the puddle that once was Creekfield Lake|
|A few remaining herons wade in the shallow water|
|marsh side of Creekfield lake - cattails burned & dried by hot sun|
I also visited the 40 acre lake area - since there is more water here, there are also a LOT of alligators in close proximity to each other. That day everyone seemed to be behaving themselves & the gators were easily visible in the shallow water. My sister commented that the lake looked like an abandoned swamp. On the west side of lake (with the sloughs), duckweed has covered the surface entirely, giving everything a deceptive healthy green color. There were several gators here as well, but well hidden in the muck. A few moorhens were fussing and a very few herons were fishing. The lake level is down here as well since the park decided to no longer use the pump to maintain the water level. The sloughs were dry and cracked. It was easy to see where the gators were coming/going to the water - their tracks/slides easily visible in the preserved mud.
|duckweed covers portions of the 40 acre lake|
|alligators are still there|
|sloughs along 40 acre lake are dried up, vegetation burned by heat/sun|
|alligator tracks/slides through what was the slough to 40 acre lake|
It is very tempting to go off the paths & walk around in the dried up areas, but there are more reasons not too - alligators (there are over 500 of them in this park), habitat destruction (the drought won't last forever), bullfrogs and others than are hidden from view can easily be stepped on not to mention the snakes - although not always seen - be assured they are still there as well. Besides walking off the designated paths is a big break in the park rules.
Our area is forecasted to have some break in the current weather pattern in the coming days, so I plan to go back to look around and see what is still there as well as observe any changes in the fauna that I hear/see - do they really believe the weather is going to change?