Gainesville is well known for it's champion "Gators" football team. The city has a lesser known Gator lair known as the Sweetwater Wetlands Park. I stopped by there recently while enroute to another photoshoot looking for eagles. There were indeed a good number of real Gators present, but more to my interests, I saw a nice variety of marshland birds and ducks.  I also met my favorite Hollywood actor, Jack Nicholson. Yes, it is true he has come out of retirement.

     Per the website information, “Sweetwater Wetlands Park is a great place to connect with nature. The park, which consists of more than 125 acres of wetlands and ponds, was created to improve the water quality of wetlands in nearby Paynes Prarie and the Floridan Aquifer”. At the park you can (and I did) walk 3.5 miles of crushed gravel trails, and boardwalks. Unfortunately my arm is now so sore from the hike that I can barely push the Doohickey. There are also occasional special events guided by park personnel. A fellow photograher, Chris Billman, and I had a great time there.  I helped him avoid stepping on several snakes. We watched a Great Blue Heron on a piling trying to lift off with a moss covered stick. It pulled and pulled to no avail. The stick was connected to a large string of moss. Unfortunately. the Heron didn’t realize he was standing on the other end of the moss rope and thus could not figure out how to take off with it.

     I have been wanting a picture of my favorite actor Jack Nicholson. I was pleased to see him sitting on one of the boardwalk rails. He looked at me and smiled and gave me his autograph. Really. I have the picture to prove it. Don't believe me? You want the truth? YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!

Gainesville is known for more than  just the home of he Gators, it has Sweetwater Wetlands Park

A Red-winged Blackbird sings in the marsh....

Male Anhinga drying its wings,,,note the oil gland nipple at the base of the tail. 

Female Anhinga (has brown head feathers) drying its wings..

Limpkin takes a seventh inning wing stretch

Come on you stupid stick...what is your problem?

Can't figure out why that stick would not let loose!

I'm standing on the other end of the moss rope? Go figure!

Help! There is an ANHINGA stuck in my mouth! The poor black crappie was soon swallowed whole

Guess who else was hanging out with those lazy "Gators"?

No, it is not true that this is a Double Crested Cormorant. It is me, Jack Nicholson! But "YOU CAN't HANDLE THE TRUTH"!

email: selsorhd@me.com

All photographs and materials copyrighted and possession of Harry D Selsor. All rights reserved.

Photos are avail for purchase framed or unframed.