Skeeters, Sand, and Showers

White sandy beach, fabulous green-blue ocean, Tigertail Beach

Florida is one of our favorite states to visit because of the rich wildlife. It is also home to a voracious mosquito population. At certain times of year and in certain areas, as soon as a human steps outside, there is an intolerable onslaught of those blasted insects, ready to inflict their bites. This is one of the downsides of Florida (besides the politics, but do NOT get me started on that topic!) which we haven’t noticed much previously because we have not been camping until this trip. The campground at which the skeeters have been a nuisance is Collier-Seminole State Park, which happens to be in the midst of some of the wildlife adventures we seek. 

A super sweet campsite at Collier-Seminole State Park, shared with mosquitoes!

Being the first skeeter breeding ground we have encountered in our spring travels, our site requires quick entry and departure in to and out of Vanda, a new skill to perfect. The application of bug spray is warranted as well, which is something I avoid. Not only do I not like the chemicals on my skin, but I do not like the oily residue left by the spray; I do not feel as though I can cook until that stuff is off my skin, and I certainly do not want to lie on the bed until I’ve showered. This is a small window into vanlife that I knew was coming but wasn’t sure how it would be. The skeeters and the application of bug spray, the avoidance of them coming into the van when the door is open for a nanosecond, then having to smash those that made it into Vanda is a drag, take my word for it. Am I a priss? Yep. Surprise: there are even skeeters in the shower room! 

Alright, I am coexisting with the skeeters because we are filling our days with wondrous adventures, where there happens to be fewer skeeters, such as a full day of white sand on Tigertail Beach, walking the Briggs boardwalk into a sublime nature area to find warblers, the Naples Saturday farmers market, the absolutely marvelous Naples Botanical Gardens, and the always fascinating Corkscrew Swamp hike, just to name a few activities to keep us out of the campground until dinner time. We did something in the afternoon yesterday and today which was a real departure for us –- a city park at which we have hiked around the lakes in years past looking for birds, happens to also have an aquatic center! Yes! We paid the $1.50 senior entry fee, swam in a pool for the first time in as long as I can remember, which was so very refreshing after hot-weather hiking, then enjoyed a hot shower there in the early evening before heading back to our campsite for a delicious dinner. 

Ruddy Turnstone at Tigertail Beach, Marco Island
Prairie Warbler, Briggs Boardwalk hike
Naples Botanical Gardens

Hot showers are such a luxury, particularly in the 85+ degree weather we’ve been experiencing. Washing off the sand, the sweat, the sunscreen, and the anti-skeeter spray is dearly appreciated. Even if I must share the shower with a few mosquitoes. 



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