Florida is home to many species of animals, and guests at the Seahorse Retreat or Palm Breeze Beach House are guaranteed to have some kind of encounter with wildlife when staying at the properties.
Our backyard is the Santa Rosa Sound, and it’s not uncommon to spot a pod of dolphins (sometimes they come very close to the dock), crabs (check the dock to see if there’s a crab trap), sting rays, and small fish.
A blue heron makes regular visits to our beach, usually in the mornings, as he meanders gracefully along the sand looking for fish before he flies off. Other birds that you’re likely to see are hawks, pelicans, and hummingbirds, which are attracted to the red blossoms on our bottlebrush bushes and hibiscus.
Electric blue, green, and orange-colored lizards sometimes make an appearance as they scurry up a piling or sun themselves on the pool deck. Kids love to try to catch them - but lizards are pretty stealthy and usually disappear into a nook or crack.
The most unusual critter we’ve had visit is a black bear. Yes, a black bear. This happened several years ago in November. The bear had crossed Highway 98 and made its way down to the beach. Our neighbor looked out and saw him and when she went to get her phone, he had disappeared; presumably he lumbered back across the Highway. We don’t know why he came; we just assume he got disoriented. That was a highly unusual occurrence and has not happened since then.
Keep your eyes open - you never know what kind of wildlife you may see!