As I prepare to begin my new journey in Pennsylvania in just over two weeks, I have been doing a lot of reflecting of what I will miss in Florida (besides the wonderful Nature Geek fans, of course). I know there will be new terrain to explore and new species to discover in my new home, but there are some parts of Florida that I just wish I could bring with me.
I wish I could bring the birds! Being an original "bird nerd," Florida is the birding paradise of the US. Roseatte spoonbills, reddish egrets, white ibises, little blue herons, tri-colored herons, cardinals, mockingbirds, wood storks, swallow-tailed kites, bald eagles (the second highest population in the US!)...there are so many to name!
I will also miss the great diversity of reptiles and amphibians (also known as "herptiles"). Tree frogs, racerunners, skinks, black racers, pigmy diamondback rattlesnakes, softshell turtles, sea turtles, red rat snakes, green anoles...even more to name!
And of course, none of these wonderful wildlife species would be here without Florida's fabulous ecosystems. From cypress domes to salt water marshes and pine flatwoods to the Hillsborough River watershed, Florida has so many different kinds of areas to explore.
I know I will miss all of these things greatly, but I am also looking forward to mountains, hills of fall foliage, snow, northern birds, herptiles and maybe even my first whale sighting on a weekend trip to the coast. I am hoping to document some of these sightings and experiences right here on this discussion board, so come along with me for the ride! I could always use an extra hiking buddy.