The wildlife here is thick, but sometimes you have to look a bit. We had vultures in the Everglades, but I’ve gotten used to them. The rangers tell of them taking a fancy to any rubber on cars in parking lots and trail heads. You knew which visitors listened, when you found their car wrapped up in blue tarps and bungee cords. I awoke one morning to the sound of large wings. Poking my head out of the tent, I could see one vulture on a fire ring and two on my car. One shout of “Shoo!” was enough for the two on my car, the one on the fire ring seemed to know I was not talking to him.
I think there is a gang of crows that have been following me around. It started at the visitor center, when one seemed to take exception to my walking under its light post, and it has gone downhill from there.
On the walk out to West Lake, I stopped to take a video of three croaking crows. Sadly, it was blurry so it won’t be seen again. Upon turning my back, and placing the camera in my pocket, I felt a menacing darkness to the force. Turning around, one of those blurry crows was flying straight at my head. I’m glad it was a crow fight and not a bombing run, because he had a perfect target with my bent over back. A second crow also flew straight at me, but his heart was not in it since the game was up and the target aware.
There are egrets all around the campground, and breeding herens of some sort at a lake that was off limits. To make sure it was off limits, the park rangers hired a fighter squadron of horse flies to stave off intruders. They were passionate in their work.
I have yet to see a Florida Panther, but I was on the trail of a bronze one. My alligator sightings also remain at zero.