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Woodland Creatures and Florida Wildlife

One of my favorite things to do is to spend time in the woods, whether it be alone or doing a photo shoot with my girls!

What makes these little excursions even better?  When I actually get to encounter real-life, woodland creatures!

Living in Florida, you're going to see a lot of wildlife.  It's just a fact.  When you get out into places, like the bayou, beaches, or woods, the likelihood is even higher.

Sometimes, I don't even have to leave my home and there will be an ibis (bird), a bunny, or a turtle in my backyard.  Those are the magic moments!

Woodland Creatures and Florida Wildlife

It's when I'm in the woods, where I find my peace.  In the wilderness of Florida, it's not unusual to see an alligator.  Sometimes, they can hear you, before you hear them.

There have been a few times when I suddenly heard a loud splash and would see the end of a tail going into the water.  Alligators are afraid of humans, and like all woodland creatures, tend to avoid us.

In the picture above, we have an Eastern Cottontail or in Florida, they are known as Marsh Rabbits.  I see them all the time when I walk on the trail through town and when I'm out hiking at a nature preserve.  So cute!
I've never encountered a bear.  We have brown bears in Florida, but on all my camping trips, I've never seen one.  The most I've ever seen were paw prints when walking with my brother.

Recently, I was reading a little about brown bears and if you see one, that means that they're stalking you for a meal.  They see humans as food.  So, needless to say, I am very glad that I haven't seen a brown bear, lol!

In the above picture, I caught a Florida black snake hiding out in the bushes.  I've also seen them in my yard a few times.  They are harmless, but I still wouldn't want to get bitten by one!
I have seen key deer multiple times, and I can honestly say, I never get sick of it.  It's like a different world when I head into the woods.  I am quite certain I've seen and "felt" fairies at Boca Ciega Millennium Park in Seminole, Florida.  It's truly a majestic place!

Okay, they are not all woodland creatures but here in Florida, the ocean, the woods, the swamps, and everything, just kind of blend together.  They overlap.  It's not unusual to go to a nature preserve and see ducks, for example.

I'm not completely sure on this species of tortoise in Florida.  I've seen them in my backyard a few times as I live right by the ocean.  Based on his markings, I'd say maybe a baby gopher tortoise, but honestly, I'm not sure!
In this picture (see above), we have a Florida Skink.  I loved how he just blended in with the fall foliage on the trail.  I almost didn't see the little guy!

One of the things I get asked all the time from people living outside of Florida is do I get scared walking alone on native trails.  I tend to go out pretty far and get pretty brave.  The answer is no!  It's just like anywhere else in the world, you get used to it.

The truth is, I'm more scared of humans and what they are capable of than animals.  I feel very connected and protective of them.
A lot of people that come to Florida re surprised by how much Florida wildlife we have.  I mean, it's everywhere!

It's very nature-oriented here.  It's not uncommon to walk into your backyard or down the road and see squirrels, tortoises, birds of prey, bunnies, and more!

From the plane, as you fly into Florida, all you see is green and blue.  Very pretty!  Reminds me of earth colors.

I probably sound like a walking ad for Florida, but it really is a beautiful place!  One of my guy friend's said I'm the Queen of Florida.  I have to admit, I liked that, lol!
So, in late summer we have these giant orange grasshoppers that pop out from every corner.  Last year we had one come to the house so often, that we named him Sedgewick!

Of course, after we named him then I never saw him again.  I like to think he was okay and hopped off to live a happy life somewhere.  But really, who knows!

Thanks for reading!  What sightings have you had in or out of Florida?  I always like to hear what other people's hiking experiences are like.

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