Florida. Not for the faint of heart.

First, the wildlife. It’s everywhere. Where it’s supposed to be––as in, outside. But also where it’s not supposed to be––as in, everywhere else. The car. The pool. The mailbox?!

img_9331

There are spiders and snakes and ants galore, so many kinds of ants I can’t even name them all, but here are a few of my favorites (I’m not making these up): acrobat ants, big-headed ants, crazy Caribbean ants, ghost ants, odorous ants, thief ants… you get the idea.

There are also these chubby millipedes that somehow sneak into the house, scaling walls and clinging to ceilings, only to promptly die, curling into crispy carcasses that litter the floor. Everyday I sweep them up and toss them into the garden. Worms into worm food. So lovely.

img_9488

And the sheer mass and variety of lizards is beyond comprehension. Slender gray ones with yellow-striped backs. Tiny orange-plated dinosaurs. Fat ones who spread flat on the concrete, looking stamped by a boot or tire, only to spring back to life and scamper off if you get too close. Some are fast, some slow. Some can jump quite far and spring from limb to limb. Some do pushups. I love this.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

My favorites are the creatures of the night. With see-through skin and sticky pads like tree frogs, they cling to the undersides of building eaves where porch lights illuminate their insides. You can see their organs!

Anyway, what I’m saying is… Florida is not for the faint of heart.

Just recently we spotted the granddaddy of them all––a bright green iguana that appears to consider our jacuzzi and pool area his own private lounge. You may have seen my “poop mystery collage” on Facebook… we now have a chief suspect, having caught him in the act of literally dropping a cat-sized turd straight into our perfectly balanced salt-water pool.

img_9912

This is definitely going to take some getting used to.