Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Florida Waters

Merritt Island, National Wildlife Refuge

When people think of Florida they think of the long Atlantic and Gulf beaches, and those are certainly an important attraction. Florida also has thousands of fresh water rivers, swamps, ponds and lakes.  Some of them are springs that can be hundred of feet deep, but most are shallow, warm in the summer, cool in the winter.  Most are home to diverse wildlife.  Turtles are a favorite food of alligators, Florida is home to several varieties of turtle and tortoise (if I remember correctly one lives in the water and the other on land.)  I have vivid memories of encountering an alligator-snapping turtle next to my car one afternoon in Maitland, Florida.

Turtles are easy to spot sunning themselves just above the water level on a cool sunny winter day, and like this one, hanging out in sun warmed shallows on a mild March day.  In warmer weather, they will move into deeper, cooler waters. I can remember lugging five pounds of guidebooks for birds, wildflowers, fish and reptiles when I explored the woods of Florida, today all you need is a smart phone (assuming you can get a signal) and if snap a quick picture and identify what you have seen when you get home.


  1. when I think of FL I think heat and hurricanes and huge bugs and jeebus freaks and old people and batshit crazy idiots and disney ruining everything.

    went to Fl once and HATED it.

    1. It is a different place. I lived there for 20 years. I still love the climate and the native landscape. If everyone loved it, it would break off and sink into the ocean from all of the people.