When I settled in north Florida a little less than two years ago, I expected that there would be differences from other places I've lived.
I knew that the climate would be different, and it is, and I love it. I thought that the people might be a little different, and they are, and I love them, too. I hoped that the cost of living would prove affordable, and it has.
What I didn't anticipate was that I would be moving into an area with such a vast array of wildlife. And the incredible part is that while I live only a short walk from stores, markets, and the necessities of everyday life, I am also just a few miles from the habitat of alligators, black bears, deer, hawks, and yes, even buffalo.
These thoughts concerning my present whereabouts were brought on by an article in the Sunday paper--about the herd of bison which thrive in the Paynes Prairie Preserve south of Gainesville.
I agree with the president of the Florida Wildlife Federation, who is quoted in the article as saying that, "the bison are one of the cool things about living in Florida".
But some of the more cantankerous bison are crashing fences, crossing highways, scaring tourists, and wandering through suburbs to an extent that has led state officials to call for a thinning of the herd.
About 35 males identified as having an attitude would be removed from the herd, but there's a problem with this plan in that no one knows whee to send the trouble makers.
On the other side of the issue are the many locals who want to keep the herd intact. A petition drive is underway to maintain the status quo.
As for me, I come down on the side of the 35 male bison in question. After all, boys will be boys.
Let them, like me--enjoy this home where the buffalo roam.