Tropical Palms Resort, our home for the next three months, is a 60 acre RV park with 575 full hook-up sites. That’s a lot of asphalt and concrete to support so many rigs. There are buildings for laundry rooms, restrooms and showers, a cafe near the heated pool, picnic shelters and cabins to rent in case you don’t have an RV. We are less than 3 miles from Disney World. Yep, the Magic Kingdom is just a short drive away. The road to get there is a major one, lined with souvenir shopping mecca’s, super buffet’s, mini-golf, all variety of hotel (offering unbeatable rates right now $25/night!), and neon, neon, neon. We can bike ride to a half dozen supermarkets, super Target, super Walmart, Home Depot, post office, banks, movie theaters, we don’t have to drive at all around here.
Amidst all this city life, this seemed quite the contradiction to stumble upon as we scouted the park:
And, it’s no joke. there was a small gator hanging in this pond. Where there is a small gator there must be a bigger one, I figure. I learned quickly that here in Florida, where there is water, there are alligators. Urban vs. rural has absolutely nothing to do with it. Turns out, from Nov-March these creatures do not eat. Lacking the heat & sun to digest food, it would just rot and kill them. My better judgment tells me this does not mean they won’t attack to kill. Hmph, puts a damper on Zoe’s swimming, but we’re trying to learn about living safely with our alligator neighbors.
So, it’s not the presence of gators that surprises me around here. I have to admit I was a caught off guard last week to watch a wild turkey strut down our lane way, in no particular hurry at all. Where he came from or where he went I don’t know. The morning I found a raccoon lounging in the trash dumpster was a bit of a shocker as well. More so, the fact that it didn’t even flinch, just stared at me as if wondering what goodies I might be bringing for breakfast. Raccoons in the city, not where I’m from, but I guess it happens. And, I have finally seen my first alive armadillo snuffing around the grass along the bike path…dangerously close to the road, of course. I herded him back into the brush, and look for him each day when I ride by.
This morning I woke to the who-whoooing of an owl, quickly identified as the Barred Owl, the same species we had serenading us in the Living Forest in B.C. (blogged about in April and May 07) There is little chance for a sighting. Our space, #371 is on the last row before the park acreage returns to it’s wild roots, overgrown Cypress, Pine, Palm and countless shrub for I don’t know how far. I don’t know, because I have only gone 20 or so feet in, and that was while looking for a neighbors lost Siamese cat. Unfortunate story, the one of Herman the 13 yr. old house cat. I don’t think he stands a chance with all the wild animals, including the osprey and the short-tailed hawk that live here. Every time I see that hawk he’s either got a meal in his talons or he’s too full to fly. Yesterday a neighbor excitedly reported seeing a small herd of deer in this brush near our RV. After all the things we’ve seen so far, this didn’t seem like news.
Because we are so near to Disney, it is difficult for me to see or hear any of these animals, right down to the pesky squirrels that come right up on our steps begging Keith for almonds, without imagining they have cartoonesque voices, and dramatic stories, and that I am somehow part of their scene for the winter. Seems impossible to be any other way.