The phone has been ringing off the hook since word got out that we moved from island number four to the big city of Naples. ‘Finally, they live in a civilized community…with pavement!’ Why are people so interested in our move? Why this means we still live within walking distance to the beach and of course, city life must mean sunny Florida minus the alligators and snakes, right? ‘Pack your bags! We’re heading to Sarah and Charles’ place!’
At the risk of sounding under enthused about being the hostess with the most-ess, I must warn potential guests…We’re still in Florida, and a lot closer to the Everglades than Walt Disney World…
Now, if you’re inclined to spend a few minutes looking, you will likely see something ‘wild’ by Northern definition of the word at least, right outside our door. We’ve got egrets, exotic birds, and there are fresh water ponds within walking distance of our front door. FYI if you’re new to Florida, fresh water means alligators-not just turtles- are surely lurking below the glassy surface. I only have one gator photo so far, but I’ve seen more. And if you’re Facebook friends with me, you may have seen a status update expressing intense hostility towards my spouse, who repeatedly refuses to stop the car or turn around so I can capture my gator photos when I spot them. Because people I see them. The photo I have isn’t grand, but my spouse was driving again, and let’s just say, he wasn’t feeling Sarah’s gator shoot. I had to beg him to stop the car for the lousy photo I got. What can I say? He doesn’t share my enthusiasm for amateur wildlife photography. But the point is, we’ve still got gators.
What else? Well according to local news, there are black bears in this community. Now, I haven’t seen one yet, and honestly hope I don’t. The footage on the news is good enough for me. I’ve seen two videos of black bears resting on patios. Patios. Like the one on the other side of the room I am sitting in right now. Uh-huh. Welcome to the city. As much as I’d love the photo opp, I don’t think my dog could handle the stress. She’s afraid of my Vitaprep blender. And my vacuum cleaner. And the dark. Seriously, she won’t go out there after sunset. A black bear would send her over the edge into an unbearable state of trauma. I’ve got enough issues in my life for the moment. I don’t need the dog to have a nervous breakdown.
What else do we have? Snakes. The little snakes I snapped photos of in this blog came right from my own back yard. I’ve tried to get more photos, but snakes are fast, and those two were the only ones willing to cooperate for me… I jog a little each week. By a little, I mean a little. Two miles at a time. Overachiever, I know. On my jog, I always see dead snakes, flattened by truck tires. Hey, city life, people, it’s rough on everyone. My point is, the snakes, the lions, tigers, and bears, are still here, oh my! So if you’re coming to visit us this season feeling excited about our move to the big city, I must advise…don’t be fooled by the manicured lawns and pavement. Those wild Floridian critters are still here. 😉