One of the things that attracted me to moving to Florida was the fortunate ability to live off the water. My house backs up to a canal that is just off the Banana River in Merritt Island, Florida. I grew up in Brooklyn on an ocean block where every Sunday in the summer, my dad would take my brothers and I to Manhattan Beach. The water was just a half block from our house and we just walked a few blocks along the old esplanade (long gone now) to the beach. To us, it was normal. Maybe that is what attracted me later in life to be near the water again, even if I have a major fear of being in the water (a topic for another day).
When I lived in NY, I often would watch folks feeding the pigeons in the park. Any park in Brooklyn, this was a common site. Well now in Florida, I feed the fish. Yes, I have attracted several generations of Needle Nose Gars, the locals call them Needle Fish. They are long, slender fish that are surface feeders. I discovered their liking for almost any protein. Fish, shrimp, beef, pork, egg, chicken, they love it all. I break off pieces based on the size of the fish and they dart after it, sometimes skipping out of the water to get away from a chasing catfish. It has become almost a game of ensuring one fish doesn’t get too much while also throwing the food in lightly to not catch the attention of the greedy catfish. Don’t worry, they get the big leftovers and chicken bones that the other fish can’t eat. Catfish, I have learned, are the scavengers of the sea and will eat almost anything except for citrus foods.
So, in my middle age, I am fascinated with the fish and they have become my pigeons, in my own back yard.
Do you have pleasure in feeding the animals, whatever they be, in the wild?