Lightning Bugs, and other Critters

Over the last few weeks I have seen lightning bugs around the yard in the evenings. This, for me, is a real treat because I have not seen them at all since I was a kid growing up in Orlando.
It’s been raining almost every day recently; I know the rest of the country – out west, mostly, is experiencing drought conditions of scary proportions. But this is Florida, and it’s summer, so it’s gonna rain. The critters need it, I guess.
And there are lots and lots of critters here in Florida (no, I do not refer to tourists). We’ve got everything from my lightning bugs to mayflies, to deer and horse and yellow flies (they all bite), to mosquitoes (this IS Florida), wasps, hornets and bees, gekkos, lizards, toads and frogs, spiders galore (some marvelous, enormous web spinners), crickets of all sorts, snakes (you name and it lives quite happily in Florida), bobcats, cougars, deer and bears, hogs and critters I have yet to see.
The property where I’m staying is inside the Silver River State Park near Ocala, Florida. It is right alongside the Ocala National Forest, which is quite a large piece of property in its own right. Right at the start of deer season while the hunters start to pack their gear into their trucks , many of the deer will slip quietly into the Silver River State park, where they know they are safe from the hunters.
It gets so crowded in here the deer will stand in the middle of the roads and trails inside the park and watch the visitors gawk at them. They have no fear, here, and no need for fear.
Only a month or so ago, The State of Florida decided to remove the “Endangered Species” label from the Black Bear (the Florida gator has also lost that protection). Both the bear and gator population have grown so large they have pushed into the suburbs in search of food (and many foolish people feed them). I have on several occasions seen adult bears walking across suburban lawns in broad daylight. Needless to say, this poses a danger to children, adults and pets. Alligators, too, are reported when they are seen in canals and back yards all over the State. It is not at all unusual to see gators moving from one pond to another in search of food.
If you do, stay well away, and call Animal Control. You, too, are food.
I suppose that when hunting licenses for bears are issued we will see lots and lots of black bears show up, standing in the roads and trails inside the Park, gawking at the visitors.

That should be interesting.

About Gary Showalter

Gary Showalter was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. He lived in Aruba, Florida and the Panama Canal Zone before joining the U.S. Army during the 1960s. Following his discharge from the Army, Mr. Showalter picked cotton in East Texas, baled hay in Ardmore Oklahoma, sold light bulbs in Los Angeles, California, and built cattle pens in Fallon, Nevada (during a blizzard, of course). After settling in Atlanta, Georgia, Mr. Showalter worked as a professional gardener before turning his hand to furniture making. In 1981, he moved to Israel, married, and raised four children while working as a furniture maker, silversmith, goldsmith, and ornamental wood turner. He served in the Israel Defense Forces Reserves for sixteen years, and when not on active duty he worked in government and private security. He has also served in senior management positions in two software development companies in Israel. During his time in Israel, Mr. Showalter published articles dealing with international terror and the Israel-Arab conflict in the Jerusalem Post, Israel national News and several political science web sites. Mr. Showalter returned to the United States in the fall of 2003, to care for an elderly parent. He published his first novel, “The Big Bend”, in the fall of 2008. His second novel, “Hog Valley”, is now in print. Mr. Showalter's third novel, “Twisted Key”, was published in the fall of 2011, and his fourth novel, "Lonesome Cove" is now available in Kindle format and should be published in paper near the end of 2012. Those words were written a few years ago. Frankly speaking, the literary well has dried up. I now live in Dunnellon, Fl, where I amworking as the caretaker on a horse farm and looking to build a workshop here on the property where I can get back to building furniture. With any luck I will be sinking piers some time early in November and hope to have the floor joists ready for flooring by the end of the month. I'll get back to you on that.
This entry was posted in The Business of Writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Lightning Bugs, and other Critters

  1. Diane S. Loftis says:

    I could handle the small critters. For instance, the lightning bugs! I know myself well enough to say- you would probably find me chasing after them with a mason jar or such in my hand! As far as the snakes, gators, and bears… oh my!

Comments are closed.