Saturday, February 26, 2011


Reading Little Miss Moi's blog today, she reminded me of something I've grown used to from years of living in Florida-the critters, namely cockroaches, spiders and ants. This was one thing that I did not miss when I lived elsewhere and it was the one thing that was difficult to get re-acclimated to when I moved back. Have you ever had a cockroach dive-bomb your head? Well, I have (only once but that was more than enough, thank you very much). And let me tell you, no matter how used to seeing cockroaches I am, having one dive bomb me will send me running and screaming like a little girl and give me the heebie-jeebies for at least a few hours (you know that feeling-when you can practically feel the bugs crawling on you even though they're not? Ugh.)

Of course, these are not the only critters here in Florida. We've got....lizards, bigger lizards (those that have the curly tails), iguanas (non-native but they are here), gators, snakes, mosquitoes, birds, birds and more birds (really love the egrets and herons, but the hawks and osprey are amazing too), raccoons, opossum, armadillos and the list goes on. As with any ecosystem, the bigger animals eat the smaller ones, even though I had never really seen anything eat a cockroach-at least until one day.

I have my bicycle in the garage and was getting ready to go for a ride, so I opened the garage door (we have the old, manual lift-it-up-yourself-no-garage-door-opener-for-you type.) As I did so, a small cockroach that had been hiding in the little space underneath the door was suddenly surprised to find itself exposed and it started to scurry to find a new place. Well, I certainly didn't want it coming inside, so I shushed it out the door and out on to the driveway. (I could have just killed it but I don't like killing things unless absolutely necessary and I figure as long as it is outside the house and not in, I am good with that.)

So, the cockroach races out and just stops in the middle of the driveway, probably hoping that if it just stays still, then it will be ok. As it did so, I noticed one of the large curly tail lizards that hangs out near the front of the house start running towards it. The lizard stopped about halfway and looked at me, sizing me up. I said, "Well, go ahead." And with a little twist of its head, it zoned in on the target and raced on. It got to the roach and CRUNCH just scooped it up with one bite. It was a big bite with cockroach wings sticking out of its mouth but that wasn't a problem for this lizard. Chew chew chew as it started to race back to its station near the front of the house. And that was the end of that cockroach. I'd never seen anything like that before and I have got to admit, it was pretty cool to see nature at work.

Here is one of the lizards hanging out in front of the house.