We’ve been living in Florida for about a year-and-a-half now, and I feel like I have become mostly accustomed to the wildlife. I’ve seen dozens of alligators in the wild. I’m on my second armadillo in my garden. I’ve learned that the monkey sounds I hear at night are actually barred owls. An osprey dive-bombed our Jack Russell terrier, clearly mistaking him for lunch. (Thankfully, Sherlock got away.) I found a scarlet king snake literally climbing the stucco exterior wall of our house one morning. You wouldn’t think that was possible, but a snake can fit in the crevices of the texturing. There’s no taming Florida (or Floridians).
I think my strangest wildlife encounter happened this morning, however. I was about to open the front door to let said Jack Russell terrier out in the yard. Our front door is almost entirely glass, which is oddly useful in Florida. Apart from letting in the sunshine the state is known for, you can see if there’s a snake curled up against the door. (This has not happened to me yet, but it seems to happen to my neighbor all the time.)
Anyhow, there was not a snake. There was an ENORMOUS blue crab. By enormous, I mean about a foot wide. And he had two giant claws, which he was waving in the air, as if to say “hey, lady, let me in!” And, man, those things are fast. He sped off the porch and away into my azaleas the moment he understood he was not alone. I have seen little crabs in the saltwater marshes and bouncing around on the beach before, but not trying to break into our house!
I have since learned that crab invasions in Florida are common, particularly after it rains. Check out this chap, who had dozens of crabs take over his lanai.