Sunday, September 7, 2008

Animal Lovers

One of the reasons that we moved to SWFL was the environment – from the beaches, the close proximity to the Everglades, the endless summers, and, primarily, the wildlife. My children have been exposed to more animals in their natural habitats than many of their friends up north. Plus, Ray and Chay get over-the-top excited when they see a new animal or one of their favorites.

For example, manatees. How could you not love one of these adorable fat things? I saw my first mommy and baby manatee in May and I couldn’t get over them. Playful. Sweet. Gentle. Giants. Love at first sight.

Ray’s favorite is the dolphin. We saw no less than eight of them today at the beach. A dolphin played in the wake of our boat, jumping, diving, flipping his tale and having a grand ol’ time. Ray was so excited that she declared, “He’s so cute. I’m going to keep him.” I had to convince her he couldn’t live in the lake behind our house.

Chay is infatuated with fish. He desperately wanted to catch a fish (with his hands, no less) in the shallow water today. Schools of little fish swam right up to him and checked him out like he’s Dr. Doolittle. He’s so in tune with the fish, I like to believe he can communicate with them.

Our house has become a mainstay for all the tree frogs in the area. Chay chases them every night pretending he’s a frog – Wibbit! In the morning, there are hundreds of little frog footprints all over the dew on the windows and our car.

And, the pelicans! Such cool birds, in my opinion. I’m biased though because they remind me of my Bo, so I imagine each and every one is named Julian. I don’t know why, they just do.

We can’t forget the lizards and gators – some of my favorites. But I can do without the snakes I’ve found in my house on two separate occasions.

I could also live without some of the insects that grow down here. It’s like Jurassic park with enormous dragonflies, mutant palmetto bugs, and oversized mosquitoes. And, fire ants? Don’t get me started on how extremely unfair their existence is.

1 comment:

Melodie said...

Fire Ants! When I was interviewing for a job in Fort Myers before I moved there, my boss told me, "You realize you're moving to the fire ant capital of the world, don't you?" Once I got there, I understood what he meant!
Back here in Tampa, we still have the giant insects, but thankfully, not as many fire ants.