That’s right, Arcadia, Florida. It’s not only home to some amazing ranchers and farmers who grow and raise our food. It’s home to some of the most amazing vistas, intriguing swamps, and enchanting historic Florida sceneries.

Kristen and I have spent most of the last week working in the swamps. Yes, it was hot. Yes, it was filthy. Yes, it was amazing.

What I wanted to share today was that we were surprised on the last morning by none other than genuine Florida cowboys. Horses, dogs, hats, and all.

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They rode away. Dogs leading the riders.

 

We were investigating a particular stream corridor when they came upon us. It stopped us in our tracks. First were the pack of dogs. All were dirty and romping through the wet grass. All were different. Then came the men on their horses. Complete with straw cowboy hats and bandanas. They reined up next to us to see who we were.

They asked if we had seen an

y head of cow in this area. They told us they had only 54 but need to pen them. They stared at us. We stared at them.

Of course we sometimes forget that we are dressed like crazy people covered in mud. Two women looking that way could be quite perplexing on a Friday morning in the morning fog!

We informed them that we were studying the swamps. Kristen asked them a couple of questions while the dogs all tromped at our feet. They asked if we wanted a dog to which we replied no thanks but they look like good dogs.

A must read for all Floridians!

They left. Turning their horses and the dogs. We wanted to go after them. Wanted to ride with them and see what cowboys do. Wanted to ride while the dogs ran with us in the morning fog. There was something age old….rustic….nostalgic in their words and clothes. Something was there that we have read in books like A Land Remembered.

They seemed like old souls of Florida still riding and penning. It reminded us that lifestyle is still very much a thriving part of Florida. It’s not just history. It’s modern. They just haven’t made any technological advances that can beat a man, a horse, and a pack of dogs!

It’s not often we get the chance to interact with people in the field. It left us feeling a little melancholy. The riders and dogs in the mist of a hot morning. I hope they penned their cows.

 

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