Florida: It’s Not What You Think

When you think of Florida you probably think of the following and if you have ever come here on vacation the following is probably what you saw.

       

 

That is of couse, what the tourism industry wants you to see.  In Florida, and in many other places whose economies rely on tourism there is the constant controversy between preserving nature and promoting tourism.  Tourism is Florida’s number one industry, but it kills real Florida.  As a Floridian, it pains me to watch people come to my state and see the fake aspects of it, the tourism industry.  Yes, Florida is beaches, but it is also beautiful pine tree forests, orange groves, Everglades, lakes,deciduous forests, and quaint little towns.

I absolutely LOVE beaches, but only when they look like this

 

To me, there is nothing like a sand dune.  I love beaches where the birds are not always begging you for food and where the shells are plenty.

Florida has a diverse selection of wildlife as well

The Roseate Spoonbill,    

Not to be mistaken for a flamingo         The Great Blue Heron  

   

 

White Tailed Deer –The poor souls are often hunted here in northern Florida. Having the head of one on your wall is something of a status symbol to most.  The bigger the rack (antlers) the better.  Personally, I find them adorable.        

 

The Alligator- When discussing the wildlife of Florida, we cannot leave out the alligator.  One can obtain a license to hunt them, their hide and meat being of value. They are not as cute as the deer, but the commodification of alligators is worrisome.

 

These are just a few glimpses at Florida, the real Florida.  I hope the next time you think of us, the peninsula of the United States, you think of something other than Disney World and crowded beaches.

Should you ever decide to visit Florida, here a few beaches and parks I would recommend:

St. George Beach

Mexico Beach

St. Mark’s National Wildlife Refuge

Everglades National Park

Amelia Island State Park

Cape San Blas Beach