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:

That is EXACTLY what it looks like
That is EXACTLY what it looks like

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:

They stand like that all the time
They stand like that all the time

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:

These guys are EVERYWHERE
These guys are EVERYWHERE

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…

Author: woodymw

I live my life in a constant state of hunger...

One thought on “Wildlife”

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