Babcock Wilderness Tour
Florida is like a giant tourist town. And in a tourist town, what better way to get to know your local flora and fauna than by taking a tour!
Actually, we had some family in town and wanted to hit two birds with one stone (no ecological reference intended). We found something suitably touristy for them, and prepper related for us. We went on an eco-tour with Babcock Wilderness Adventures, at the Babcock ranch outside of Fort Myers, Florida. See for yourselves!
Ready to greet us when we first embarked on the tour were the local feral pigs. Well... feral in a manner of speaking. I think they're used to getting fed by people on tours from the way they followed us around. But it was interested to watch the boar / sow dynamic in person. See those little palms in the background? Their core is edible (no one said tasty.. just edible!).
Wild turkeys out and about.. now that's tasty!
Horned Cracker Cattle - scrawny little things, aren't they? But they do fine on just grass and what they can forage - they don't need hay or grain, making them more sustainable than the cows I knew in the Midwest.
Birds of prey abound in Florida. They come down with the snowbirds (see my clever pun?) and leave when their prey migrates. It's not a good state to be a squirrel. Or kitten. Or loose chicken.
If you look closely, you'll see three deer lurking in the safety of the trees, eyeballing us suspiciously from afar.
These deer were definitely used to people - no sane deer gets this close to a predator. Tasty looking. Though that fawn is awfully cute too.
The Babcock Ranch is the largest working cattle ranch in Florida, at over 90,000 acres. It has plenty of swampland too.
Florida swamps - not the best place to go swimming.
Who is that, buried deep in the lilies?
These gorgeous wildcats live in a sanctuary at the very heart of the Babcock Ranch. I wish I could say I took this picture, but I shamelessly borrowed it from their website. Mine just didn't come out as good through the security fence. And yes, there are wildcats and panthers all throughout Florida. Think you're going to go bug out into the Everglades do you? Chortle. Let's talk about the snakes then..
For the tour, they brought out this little fella and let us all hold him.
Look at those eyes.. now just imagine the whole little guy about 80x larger, staring at you with a hungry gleam..
Meet Lulabelle, the famous three horned cow of Babcock Ranch. Except, you see.. she passed on. So you're actually meeting her stuffed head..
This is Lulubelle's obituary. It's witty, and is worth expanding to read in full detail.
And for one final image, this sexy little poser. Isn't he handsome with his sharp curved talons?