Ten minutes from home there is wildlife preserve that includes almost 1400 acres. Itching to go somewhere yesterday, I drove over, parked, and got out. The heat and humidity smacked me in the face; it was three in the afternoon, and cloud cover was sparse. I wanted to check the place out, however, so I hit the trail. There are several, but they all start at the beginning. 🙂
The path takes you to a footbridge over a creek, and on the far side of it, I spotted a green anole. That’s like the holy grail to someone who’s mostly lived in south Florida, where the Cuban brown anoles have nearly wiped them out. But it seems the green ones, which are native to Florida, live on in central Florida, too, or they do in places like this. (They are also still plentiful in north Florida.)
Cute, right? And that lovely green color blends well with the foliage. I only saw it because it moved, catching my attention.
Further along I ran into this insect. It flew across the trail and landed on a nearby blade of grass. I found out it’s a robber fly. There are more than 100 species of them in Florida. They are predatory and eat other insects. This is the first time I’ve seen one. Don’t you love the “lion” face on its back?
I continued on a while, but it was 94 degrees, with a 76 dew point, and I faded fast. I’d also forgotten to bring a bottle of water, which was stupid. Never start a walk in summer, in Florida, without water.
I reluctantly returned to the parking lot, but I plan to visit again soon, probably early in the morning before it gets too hot. I can tell it’s going to be one of my favorite places.
A couple days earlier, I was walking in the woods across the street from where I live and noticed this mole skink on a tree right off the boardwalk. After I downloaded the picture, I saw what might have been damage to its front leg. Maybe that’s why it didn’t run away when I came along.
I sold my bike when I thought I might end up living in my car, and I can’t afford to replace it right now, so I drove to the lake (it’s farther than I want to walk in the heat, but definitely close enough on a bike) and took pics of the sunset. It wasn’t as glorious as the one we had the night before, but it was pretty good.
I’ve only been here a few weeks, and I’m still settling in to the natural rhythms of this place. I think the sun is slowly moving to my left (northwest) as we head to winter solstice. The sunsets will be better then, I believe.
See you next time.