Living in The Villages

24 May

There are different nuances to each of the Villages…the one where I live is in the middle, or surrounds, a preserve.  I have seen more alligators, in the last 7 months, than I’ve ever seen, except at a zoo.   I have seen them in sizes from 2 feet up to what looked to me to be 6 or 7 feet long.  All of them, here, in The Villages.

There are 3 retention ponds behind the row of houses where I live.  Behind the ponds is a small lake.

Everything has been dry and brown for a long time I suppose.  I’ve only been here a month and it was dry and brown when I arrived.

But, Florida has just had an un-named, possibly tropical?, weather pattern which dumped A LOT of rain on the state.  No doubt, you have heard about it on the news or the internet.  At one point, I heard the weather announcer mention the name Anne, but not sure if they decided to name this event or not.

ANYWAY…out back, everything is alive.  All of the retention ponds have differing levels of water, and you can see the water in the lake just beyond all the brown dead stuff that grew and dried out during the DRY SPELL.   Each pond filled at a different rate, the first one was due to the runoff from the streets, the others are due only to the accumulation of the rainwater.

Today there is all manner of wildlife out back.  I’ve been working at my computer, but take breaks to go check out what is back there at the moment.  I THOUGHT I saw a couple of baby alligators, which admittedly could have also been recognized as turtles…it was more exciting to think that they might be alligators.  They aren’t.  They are turtles.  And, they are swimming around in the retention ponds along with pairs of birds.  Sometimes a lone duck is out there, and a lone black bird with long legs, but usually there are pairs of birds.

Right now, there is a pair of ducks swimming; this morning, one duck was in one pond, the other in the adjoining pond.  There have been 2 sets of red headed cranes out there, right now, one pair has just finished bathing (they have to bend their legs to immerse themselves in the shallow waters) and they are now preening their feathers.  I’ve seen them out there standing, sleeping, on one leg, in the recent days.   There are 4 white birds, not sure what they are, but they are usually over at the other end of the lake.

At night, there is a loud chorus of frogs, and with the constant rain, it’s been a real pleasure to sit out in the enclosed back porch listening to both.

I do love it here.  It’s not Acadia National Park, or the Grand Canyon, or the Everglades.  But it’s fascinating just the same.

Oh, and for those of you who think it’s dangerous to live around so many alligators…they are scared of people.  You can’t get close enough to see one, because it’s already gone from view, either under the water, or into the brush.  People here walk their dogs on a leash.  I haven’t seen any stray cats.  I’m not afraid.  It’s like living in a wonderland, an adult playground with real wildlife.

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