(Key Largo, FL)
We’ve been having a heat wave! We walk outside from our air conditioned home and our sunglasses fog immediately!
Remember the picture of this fish that I posted in the “I Won’t Ever Go in the Water Again” post?
Well, I have since found out that there is a contest every month to see how many can be collected from the reef and surrounding waters. Prizes are given to the one who collects (kills?) the most because they are becoming increasingly invasive.
Although the lionfish may be spectacular to look at, it is also lethal. Its fins have spines that are as sharp as needles, which they use to inject a potent venom into their predators. It uses its venom as a purely defensive mechanism, when it feels threatened. As far as catching its prey is concerned, it relies on lightning swift reflexes and camouflage.
The lionfish is maybe one of the most venomous fish in the world, but it is not considered a threat for humans. Humans come in contact with this species in course of fishing and diving. Even though its venom is not fatal for humans, it can trigger extreme pain, breathing problems, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and other such systemic problems. I now have no doubt that I won’t be swimming while here! Darn, I wanted to go snorkeling too.
I met this young man and woman from the Netherlands who are staying here in the campground. They have both just finished up their master’s degrees and hadn’t taken any time off during school. On summer and winter breaks they took classes anyway to get done. Now that they are, they decided they deserved a vacation and came to Florida where its warm. They have a tent and backpacks and rely on buses to get them from Point A to Point B. We were talking a day or so ago and I asked if they were going to Disney World. They replied yes, they had set aside a day to see Disney. We all asked, “One day?” They looked at us puzzled like and said yes. We explained that that wouldn’t be nearly enough if they had not been there before and that they should plan on at least four days if they really want to see the Magic Kingdom and Epcot and perhaps another part of Disney. They had no idea just how big it was.
We’re coming up on our halfway mark for our stay in Key Largo. We will be glad to move on. The bugs here are just more than we can deal with. Bob tells me everyday that we’re never, ever coming back to Florida. I don’t disagree with him.