Some call nature “the Earth’s backyard.” Find nature in yourself and yourself in nature with today’s deal, where $12 gets you the three-hour Welcome to Florida Nature Hike at Wildlife Services of Florida, a $25 value. Times and locations vary depending on season. All hikes take place around the Tampa area, and you’ll find out the exact starting point when you call to schedule your hike.
Round up a pack of your closest friends and hit the trails with guide Mark “Wildman” Burrow. He’s a biologist, naturalist, survivalist, and the fourth cousin thrice removed of Mother Nature. As rugged but gentle as they come, Mark is capable of surviving weeks with nothing but his wits, while simultaneously nursing an orphaned fawn back to health. He’ll share his lifetime’s knowledge of Florida’s native plants and animals with intimate groups of 5 to 20 people—the maximum number that Mark can carry at once should the need arise. Your trek will be more relaxing than it will be dangerous, but it’s nice to know your guide is ready to handle anything nature throws at him (exciting hint: meteorites count as nature!).
Discover untouched environments and scenery that would make a conquistador green with envy. Your guide will take you to secret spots and hideaway locations that are home to nothing but animals and talking tree spirits. You’re likely to see an ark’s worth of animals such as deer, gators, hogs, birds, reptiles, and coyotes. There’s even a chance you’ll catch a glimpse of an elusive panther or bear, although pantherbears will continue to exist only in your closet.
- Kate and Kenny Adams of Sarasota have been on one of Burrow's night hikes. They've also taken trips focused on edible and medicinal plants. "He's just cool," Kate says. "Very passionate about what he does. I think that's why we keep going back." – Herald Tribune
The New Zoo Review
Once you're brimming with the natural beauty you soaked up on your hike, you can use your new wildlife expertise to consider voting for one of the following brand-new animals to be released next year. In this age of instant online feedback and compulsory social-networking, even Mother Nature wants to know how you feel about her work. Remember, you vote for one of the following to become a real animal in 2010!
The Anthrobat: dog-sized, apelike bat with opposable thumbs and horrible attitude. Text 555-6918
The Doctorpus: eight-armed mollusk that can make you uncomfortable for your own good, four times faster than a human physician. Text 555-7417
The Snarflepotaminx: a tiny, bobcat-hippo hybrid that is cute as the dickens but sounds like it is choking on a harmonica when actually breathing normally. Text 555-1616
The Carrot: The vegetable you know and love is due for a promotion to the animal kingdom! Text 555-0918 or send an e-mail with the subject line "I LOVE E-MAIL!" to HonkIfYouLoveEmail@wkrq.com, home of Mad Man Mike in the Muh-Muh-Muh-Morning, Oh yeah!
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