I admit it.
Actually I admit it frequently.
I’m fascinated by the wildlife that we have here in South Florida.
Walk out into the yard and I’m being watched.
Lizards, literally everywhere. I had heard there were a lot of them around, but coming from a “temperate” climate like South Jersey, I never really believed that they existed. You just don’t see a lizard staring back at you from a Pin Oak tree in Cherry Hill, NJ.
Here, I walk to the front door and there are lizards sunning themselves on my driveway watching me back through the glass.
I’ve seen Muscovy Ducks on my front porch more times than I care to count, and I’ve taken to inviting them to leave. They’re way too messy to be a good house guest.
They are perfectly fine on the water and near it, but the one night that I stepped onto my porch after sunset and found myself interrupting some seventeen of them making funky Duck Love and smelling the pungent aroma of what happens when you startle them, they needed to move on.
Did you know a bird will lighten the load before flying by making a poop?
Some other places have alligators in their swimming pool. Key West, Florida has Chickens. I suspect they are fine until they get to be a bit too populous, but people brought them there to begin with. If you don’t want chickens, help yourself to the eggs they leave under your shrubs.
I wonder if they will trade a few chickens for some ducks?
They came there because their many generation removed grandparents were used in fighting. That’s not at all allowed these days, but some did escape and settled in.
So I did get to see the chicken cross the road, even if I am still not quite sure why it did.
You end up with wading birds deciding that it is time to perch on your Jeep. It doesn’t happen too often, they aren’t out there every day. Luckily they are some of the more shy creatures out there. If you get anywhere near them they fly off.
I have seen these Snowy Egrets, or what ever they are called, walk across lawns in long herds like something out of a Disney Movie. They’re also the reason why I don’t tell the landscapers to spray the yard.
We get so many of them here that the grubs I see them going after are kept well under control. Along with the Black Racer snakes in some rare occasions.
But we do get quite a few visitors.
In the morning, being awakened by the song birds that show up in my bottlebrush tree is a normal happening.
Some of them are louder than others. And some are more insistent than others.
It’s also why I have a habit of waking early, or at least an explanation.
Go on outside and have a look around. The sheer volume of things that I see in my own little yard here in suburbia always has me wondering just what am I missing.
I’ve been told that there are scorpions here, and if I leave my boots outside for some strange reason, I bang them on the pavement to make sure I don’t bring any hitchhikers in.
I’ve found way too many lizards to count. They do keep the spiders at bay though and that’s a welcome aside.
After all, a Banana Spider in the house at the size of a Volkswagen is a but of a shock. For a while I was fortunate. My old windows had another predator that took up residence in one small nook. Then the house was upgraded to Impact Resistant glass. Hurricane Glass they call it. But it also took the nook away and my frog was gone.
I do kind of miss the frogs after all that is said and done.
Really, Frogs, since I saw three there the day before the nook was taken away a couple years back. Funny how things like that end up in unexpected places.
At the moment though, there are the butterflies. Sure, I have all of those creatures cohabiting with me, the dog, the parrot, and the humans in this house. But the plants are all scattered with a dusting of butterflies in various stages of life. They all will hatch as time allows them, and I am surprised that they spend more time in that chrysalis than I would expect. After all, hanging on a leaf just means you’ll get spotted and the leaf could get brought inside for an incomplete photography project.
But I am sure that you all have heard that before, haven’t you?