Back in December, a headhunter got in touch with me about a great job opportunity. And he was right – it was great. There was a catch, though.
The job was in Florida.
But – against all odds, we sold our house and moved to Florida at the end of April. There will be a lot of discussion of the adjustment of moving and the running in Florida vs. the running in New York (preview: no hills!). This post, though, is going to focus on a specifically new thing for my runs: wildlife.
I’m sensitive to this topic because about six weeks after we moved here I took this picture from the pond about 3 minutes from the house:
When I took that picture, I was standing on a sidewalk that is part of my regular running route. It has to be, because I have to regularly go through there to get to a lot of places.
So … yeah. I run in the early morning, before work. Before dawn. When it is still dark. I pay attention when I run now, to indulge in understatement.
Of course, this means I notice a lot, and it turns out that there is a lot to notice in Florida. The big one for me is the birds – an example is this guy, whose picture I took not 100 yards from where I took the picture of the alligator:
This one is called an anhinga, and they are basically South American birds who also have a small range in the extreme southern United States, including most of Florida. In other words, I never ever would have seen this bird in New York. Incidentally, I looked him up, and they stand with their wings like that to dry them – they are water birds, but their feathers don’t get oily like a duck’s, and they struggle to fly with wet feathers.
There seem to be a million of these little lizards:
And, just, in general there is a lot of wildlife. Several runs ago I spent 5 minutes watching two bats going crazy catching bugs. On the run after that I was close enough to an armadillo that I could have kicked him. And then just after the armadillo, there were three deer that included a little yearling buck about 10 steps away.
The next day I almost stepped on something that scared me to death, and I still don’t know what it was. It was, however, furry – so not an alligator. Or a snake.
Oh, dear god, if I ever step on a snake…