February 19, 2018

The Animals of Key West

The Animals of Key West
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for February 19, 2018

One of our favorite things to do on vacation is interact with the local critters.  Key West certainly has an eclectic mix of animals to make your stay more enjoyable.  Perhaps the one that seems most out of place is all the dang chickens who are roaming the streets.  Don't get me wrong.  I find them to be absolutely beautiful, they just doesn't seem to fit in with the island paradise motif.

Miss Sheri and I stalked them every chance we could get.  They're sneaky and would be hiding in all sorts of unusual places.

I was a little surprised to see how aggressive the males were with their female counterparts.  There was more than one time where I felt it necessary to step in and tried to separate a rooster getting way too physical with it's mate.  In front of the kids even.  I don't know who's in charge of chicken domestic disturbances in Key West, but they are doing a piss poor job of getting that behavior under control.

Another unique creature you see all over Key West are the green iguanas.  These things are everywhere.

Apparently these guys aren't native to South Florida, but years of people bringing them in as pets and abandoning them have allowed their populations to flourish.  Our Uber driver told us she hears they even pay people to come in and exterminate them because they're such a nuisance.  I don't know, we found them to be pretty cool.

This guy lived under the pier at our hotel.  We liked to visit him before heading out for the day.  He seemed to like it also.

If you look closely, you can see him peeking his head out below me.  The Uber driver told us they could be pretty aggressive and not to get too close to them.  Although I approached several for pictures and they never seemed to be ready to confront me.

Of course there's a million birds there also.  We always like the ones who catch fish and give us a performance while doing it.

The pelicans were the best.  These guys fly all around and then swoop to the water like a missile ready to catch any unsuspecting fish in it's path.  

Of course when you see these guys, you instantly go into Finding Nemo mode and shout "Mine, Mine, Mine!" over and over again.

Some sweet pelican lovin' was happening in the harbor while we were there.

Of course, my favorite critters are the ones that can tear you apart.  Pay special attention to the glowing eyes in the water.  These massive fish are called tarpon and they are famous to come flying out of the water to attack their food.  We loved going down to the harbor when the fisherman were cleaning their catch because the predator fish were all over the leftover scraps being tossed overboard.  We even saw a 6 foot long nurse shark down there during the afternoon one day.  All I kept thinking was how bad it would suck to fall in the water to join these critters for a swim.