I grew-up in Strongsville, Ohio, which was then a sleepy bedroom suburb southwest of Cleveland.
I moved to Florida in 1988, lived in tropical little Cape Coral for six years and then Tampa, which I love, for the next 11 years. There’s much to do in the still small-town-feeling Tampa metropolitan area of 3 million-plus folks, and some of the greatest people around to do it with. After Peace Corps I returned to Cape Coral to live. I still have a home in Tampa, and travel there and to Orlando to visit family and friends.
The woods, rivers and natural springs of Florida are amazing. So much attention is focused on our beaches that locals and visitors often forget, or are not even aware, of Florida’s inner beauty.
I love to kayak down her lazy waters, walk in her prehistoric-feeling woods and swamps, and see the tropical beauty her hot and steamy climate produces. Our trees are so diverse, their flowers so stunning, and their scents so romantic.
Hibiscus come in many vibrant shades.
And, there are lots of varieties.
Canals are common place in Cape Coral, and although the Cape is no Venice, it has a beauty of its own.
Another common sight in Florida, Alligators – this one resides at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.
I have kayaked with them in view, watched them float by in suburban lakes where I walk, and seen them wide-bellied and piled high like logs at touristy alligator parks.
Their sanguine swimming style can be mesmerizing and completely belies their predatory prowess. (Love the words sanguine and belies, thanks for giving me a reason to put them together in the same sentence.)