Life has been crazy this past month! On May 10th, I graduated with my Bachelors degree in Wildlife Management from SUNY Cobleskill. Rewind back to the week of Thanksgiving last fall, I started applying for jobs and internships to begin immediately after graduation. I watched my friends and classmates snag awesome opportunities all over the country, and I felt left out and disappointed. I felt like I was lacking somehow, and that all this work and energy was for naught. I know, kind of dramatic, but 6 months of rejection will make you think the worst of your abilities!
Finally, finally, FINALLY I got the call: Would you like to come on board??? And lucky, lucky, LUCKY me, it was for an internship in the Florida Keys! The Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges Complex Ranger, Kristie, interviewed me on a Thursday, and hired me on a Monday. Within 5 days, I was on the road and I made it down here on June 9th. It was a quick transition from hanging out in my college town, empty of friends, trying to figure out my week/summer/life, and trying to budget my limited funds to stuff whatever I could into my car, and heading 1,500 miles South!
I’m working as a “Visitor Services” intern in the Key Deer National Wildlife Refuge office on Big Pine Key. This is the most commonly visited refuge, out of the other 4 refuges in the Keys. Key West NWR, Great White Heron NWR, and Crocodile Lake NWR are the remaining refuges that make up the complex. Hey, check us out and “like” us on Facebook! You’ll see some of my pictures and writing from time to time as well as some awesome wildlife pictures –> Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges Complex .
Ok, you’re all here for pictures. So I will post pics of the critters I’ve run into so far, and in subsequent entries I will elaborate on the natural history of some. I hope you enjoy!
The first animals are the famous Key deer. These guys are the same species of white-tailed deer found in Northern/Eastern United States and Canada. They are a subspecies. I’ll get into all of that later, but for now: notice their SIZE and how TAME they are!
|Key deer fawn|
|A six-lined racerunner (Cnemidophorus sexlineatus), a VERY speedy lizard!|