Backyard by Daniel Farrell, Flickr

Welcome to Backyard Florida

What visual comes to mind when you hear the word nature? For many people, it conjures images of far off places of heavy wilderness. In South Florida, it is often associated with the Everglades. This is not necessarily a bad thing to associate with the word, but it means that the natural world is usually considered as something separate and distinct from our everyday lives. One of the goals of Nature Stories is to try and change that perspective. I do that, in part, by describing my own personal observations of the natural world, especially those I have made since moving to Florida.

My ‘philosophy of nature’, so to speak, involves a much more personal relationship with one’s own surroundings. I further developed and related some of my points of view in several stories from the first Season of my old nature blog. Especially relevant are the stories from Weeks 6 through 10. Those stories related my opinions about natural beauty in unlikely places as well as rethinking our ideas about nature and developing new observational skills to further appreciate the natural world.

‘Backyard Florida’ serves as kind of virtual tour of Florida wildlife. I’m going to share some of the things about ‘backyard nature’ here in the Sunshine State that I find to be both fascinating and often overlooked or merely glanced over. You could consider each of the twelve stories as a ‘stop’ on the tour as we explore the nature of Florida that doesn’t require a long trek into the deep swamps and marshes.

So, it’s time to put on your walking shoes and slather on some sunscreen as we delve into the not-so-distant wilderness just outside your door. Keep your eyes peeled and your ears open. Look around and listen and as we continue our tour, if you live somewhere besides Florida, try and find some parallels between the backyard nature here and the one right by you.

Basking Alligator by Derek de Witt
Basking Alligator by Derek de Witt