Whenever I go on a trip, one of my favourite things to, do is to observe the local pant and animal life.
I was a bit disappointed in the plant life around Orlando. For being so far south, it doesn’t seem to have anywhere near the variety of weird and wonderful plants that I’ve seen in other urban cities, such as San Francisco. Historically, this area is classified as wetlands, though of course, the majority of the area has been built up and paved. However, you can still see many ponds and small lakes dotting the terrain. [Edit – Apparently many of these ponds are man-made! Huh… ]
Compared to the west coast, the most novel plants are of course, the numerous varieties of palm tree. They come as giants, as multi-branched shrubs and as delicate miniatures dotting the landscape. While other plants seemed relatively mundane, I did notice that ornamental grass grows larger in Orlando than I have ever seen in Vancouver.
Animal life was a bit more interesting. Florida in general is home to alligators, moles, opossums, and a variety of frogs, snakes and lizards – to name a few. I saw a white heron-like bird (to be identified upon my return) in the area of Universal Studios, as well as many geckos basking in the sun. [Edit – This is a Great Egret, a type of heron] Sadly, I also saw a small alligator with his snout taped shut in the Orlando Premium Outlet. Poor little guy was being used as a tourist trap photo-op, at $10 a photo.