Best Months for Florida Wildlife ViewingThe natural world runs
on an ancient seasonal calendar
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 Wildlfe 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 City.
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: trees covered
by the white feathers of so many birds it seems the trees are draped
The real world unfolds in its own time. To appreciate nature,
one must understand--and respect--its pace.