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I coddiwomple through life, guided by my love of nature and insatiable curiosity.


Just yesterday morning I bemoaned the lack of moisture in my part of Florida. Believe it or not, my county and a few neighboring ones are currently in a state of drought.

As I mentioned, there have been storms building to the east of me for the past week. Even though the clouds were directly overhead yesterday afternoon I figured they’d scuttle away and leave me high and dry.

Thankfully, a decent downpour proved me wrong. Perhaps I should buy a lottery ticket…

Wishful Thinking

As they say down here, it’s been a minute since it’s rained at my house. While that’s normal this time of year, it’s been warmer than usual so my plants are looking a little peaked.

This past week storms have started building (a precursor to our rainy/hurricane season) but the lovely sea breezes that I adore keep pushing them inland. And no, central Florida, I’m not interested in hearing about the three inches of rain you received yesterday!

At least the nearby thunderstorms have been dropping my evening temperatures…

People Watching

There are a number of reasons why I moved to Florida’s Gulf Coast just over three years ago but the main one is the beach. Technically I should say beaches. There are numerous stretches of sand near me and they each have their own special characteristics; some are powdery soft while others are loaded with shells and I enjoy them all.

I know my local beaches fairly well and have some special spots where I can avoid the largest crowds but to be honest, sometimes watching people is the best entertainment. I never know what I’m going to see out there!

Dancing Queens

Some friends and I checked out the newest bar in town last night, a disco joint called Good Night John Boy. Yes, you read that right, I said disco.

The place was decorated in the finest from the 1970s (with a velvet Elvis and console tvs). I wore my best (and only) bell bottoms – leopard print with sequins, a lucky thrift store find!

The music was a blast from the past and we boogied to every song (as my sore feet can attest). The nostalgia was strong and even though the place was packed we had a great time!

Our throwback tour continued outside the bar when some roller-skaters danced by. This town is never boring!

Vibrant Avian

I was thrilled to spot this Purple Gallinule (Porphyrio martinicus) while touring the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive this past weekend. The swamphen is a year-round resident here in Florida, though they are usually found further south of me.

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology All About Birds website offers this vivid description: “cherry red, sky blue, moss green, aquamarine, indigo, violet, and school-bus yellow”. Uncommonly, adults of both sexes are this colorful. It was worth the 2 hour drive just to see this rainbow bird!

It’s All About Optics

While I was excited to spot a Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) hunting atop aquatic plants, I was disappointed with the lighting. Unlike most species, the beauty of these birds relies on the angle of illumination.

I felt fortunate to get a closer look while on my second loop through the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive. The iridescence is just stunning! For the most widespread ibis species in the world it is a rare sighting for me. They don’t spend much time here on the west coast (though I have plenty of White Ibis, their less striking cousins).

Cartilaginous Carapace

I met this Florida Soft Shell Turtle (Apalone ferox ) while touring the Lake Apopka Wildlife Drive over the weekend. This is the largest of our three soft shell species, so called because they lack hard shells and scutes.

Based on the massive size of this one I believe it was a female (males tend to be noticeably smaller). Since it is the height of egg-laying season I presume that’s why she was out of the water. It was a treat to get to see her up close, look at that snout, it looks like a snorkel.