Manager's Message

Fall Flowers in Bloom

Stephen Giguere, Park Manager

As autumn arrives we begin the slow transition from our wet season of summer to the dry season of winter.  Florida experiences fall colors like the northern states. Where it differs is where to look for the color. Instead of the trees changing color, in south Florida you need to look to the ground instead.  Northern colors may be spectacular but Myakka’s colors are as spectacular.  Our colors are not as obvious but when you look close enough, they are perhaps more flamboyant.  Our colors are prestigious and need to be sought out to enjoy.  Many of our grasses bloom in the fall as well as an array of colorful wildflowers.  We have six species of Andropogon, a tall blooming grass commonly called bluestem, or broom sedge whose flowering spikes display colorful blues, greens and whites with glowing tufts of seeds that blow in the wind. Look closer to the ground and you may see the dazzling pine lily whose fiery colors of orange and yellow reflect the flames of wildfires which it is dependent on to survive.  Pause to see the dramatic hues of purple of the Liatris and Carphephorus swaying the open air breeze of the imperiled Florida dry prairie.  October and November hold good viewing opportunities. Take a hike out to the prairie from Ranch House Road or Fox’s High Road for short hike opportunities. If you are unable to get out and stretch your legs, not to worry, an example of this habitat and its flowering species can easily be seen close up, right from your car in the median just as you enter the park.