I've learned a few things about Florida today. First, I retract my cynicism about Clermont's hills. I took a longer walk this morning, and there is definitely some topographic texture to the area. It's pretty nice to actually get a vista from an elevated point.
There is a bit of open space here, but the grass is so dry and scrubby and dusty - I am spoiled by New England greenery. So even the more open spaces feel somewhat dismal to me. Then again - it is March.
It's hard to find a view unobstructed by pavement, power lines, or commercial development. Still, the air is gentle and therapeutically hydrated, and the colors of the sky are just as pretty here as anywhere.
I also see some different birds from home, and some that are almost the same. There was a blue jay relative of some kind, that looked not quite like our blue jays. And the crows have a southern accent.
And it was nice to walk by an actual neighborhood. Often, driving around Florida, you wonder if anyone really lives here. It feels like such a transient place, for visitors only. The neighborhood I walked by kind of gave me the creeps however - the gate, the power lines looming overhead, the little patches of green grass out front. It felt a little like a set for a Tim Burton movie. The feeling was emphasized by the fact that there was a hospice center tucked in at the edge of the neighborhood's boundary.
It was very nice being in such a wide open landscape. That is a plus for someone like me who has no innate sense of direction. It takes enormous concentration for me to keep myself oriented anywhere, so the giant water tower by my hotel, visible from miles away, is a plus for me.
I tend to take short cuts when I'm out walking - across parking lots and grassy areas, which can lead to trouble around here. I learned a thing or too this morning about sprinkler systems.
So -- I have betrayed my provincial bias. I'm sure there are things to love about life in Florida, but I'm happy where I live.