We have been living in Florida for over a year now and one of the things that I get the biggest kick out of is all the exotic animals and plants here. Not just the gators, turtles and manatees etc but even the birds are more colorful and the flowers are bigger and brighter….
After living the majority of my life in places where grey and rainy was the norm and the birds tended to be nothing more than sparrows, pigeons and crows – living day to day in sunshiny Florida where giant sandhill cranes walk past you in the parking lot and seemingly every shrub or tree has flowers as big as your hand – I have to say I feel a little like Dorothy when she opened the door of her drab grey home and saw Oz laid out before her in a riot of color and wonder. To this day, that scene always catches my breath…
But what is even more surprising to me sometimes is even the everyday animals are transformed by the surroundings. Squirrels are far from exotic – we had them in Ireland and Seattle, but the simple addition of a screened in pool enclosure has turned these always cute creatures into endlessly amusing ninjas!
They race across the top – jump from the neighbors onto ours and then back into the trees like tiny Jackie Chan’s. They hang upside down and stare in at us demanding peanuts. I can almost hear their theme music in my head – a little like mission impossible…They taunt the dogs, knowing they are safe on the far side of the screen – so close but just out of reach. I had to rescue Gizmo recently, when in her squirrel induced frenzy she fell in the pool. Well, after I was done laughing my ass off – I fished her out.
There are a lot of things I love about our new life in Florida but mostly it is the simple pleasures that count.