Thursday, July 20, 2017

Florida's wildlife

I've switched up my daily walks to get in my steps early in the morning, before the heat, humidity and rain become unbearable. I don't like getting up at 5:45 to manage this, but it's worth it. Not only am I getting in my 10k steps before 10 a.m. but I get to see some beautiful sunrises.

It's also an opportune time to observe some of the wildlife. Our heavily wooded neighborhood is home to plenty of owls and hawks, and I see and hear them finishing up their nightly rounds or just starting the day's hunt.

It's also the best time to spot the Florida Bare-chested Running Hunk. This is a creature seen throughout the peninsula, but when one lives in a college town the numbers rise even higher. While not as colorful as the Painted Bunting, it has a certain appeal. In the summer it's an early morning or evening traveler due to the aforementioned weather, and spotting a flock does help make getting up (literally) at  the crack of dawn more tolerable.

Incidentally, the illustration is for the German edition of Smuggler's Bride. It does feature a Florida Bare-chested Hunk, though of the native Cracker variety rather than the Running ones who migrate here. I confess, this is my favorite cover. Nothing says "Hot lovin' on the Florida frontier!" like a killer flamingo looming in the background. Check it out for yourself, free from Kindle Unlimited and available in paperback too.

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