Florida Wildlife Viewing is Good All Year
Something is out of kilter in a world where children's petting zoos become popular mini-theme parks. For many children, a petting zoo is
their first exposure to animals other than their own pets.
Probably most children have never touched a cow, seen a pig or fed a chicken. What an illustration
of just how divorced we have become from the
natural world around us.
Indeed, all of us tend to be dominated by man-made artificial time,
a world in which clocks and calendars determine out schedules even as
they obscure the deeper rhythms of days and seasons.
It is a wonderful thing to rediscover these more fundamental cycles,
to enter and observe a world not dictated by wristwatches but by such
things as temperature and the length of the day.
In Florida, nature reveals herself throughout the year in an astonishing
variety of guises, all delicately in time with the seasons.
(See Wildlife Hotspots by month)
For instance, every October, thousands of monarch butterflies gather at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge as they pause on their
marathon journey to winter in the high forests outside of Mexico
Every winter, at Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, Blue Spring State Park and select other locations, hundreds of
endangered manatees congregate in the clear spring waters
to escape the potentially deadly cold ocean temperatures.
In spring, at Everglades National Park,
thousands of herons, ibis and egrets cluster on the mangrove trees to
create one of the most spectacular nesting sights anywhere: branches covered
by the white feathers of so many birds the trees are draped in down.
At Canaveral National Seashore and all along the Florida
east coast, the world's largest nesting population of loggerhead sea turtles crawl ashore from May to August to dig their nests
and lay their eggs in the sand above the high waterline.
The real world unfolds in its own time. To appreciate nature,
one must understand--and respect--its pace.
One thing is certain: the natural world is not going to change to accommodate an individual's weekends and vacation
schedule. We must match our wildlife viewing schedules to what is going on in nature and frequently make adjustments.
To Florida Wildlife Hotspots Month by Month
To Florida Animal & Wildlife Info Home
To Florida Birding Home
To Florida Ecotourism Home