Over the past few months, spring has been returning in many different ways. I’ve tried to take advantage of the change of seasons by walking – to the bank, the grocery store, the post office. Along the way I observe evidence of the changes. A few additional observations that I’ve captured while out of the confines of my Hotel California are also thrown in to show creativity alive in our community.
Local wildlife changes with the seasons. Year round different varieties of lizards abound, mostly small ones that move very fast. One afternoon I heard a scuffle in the backyard and found our Princess Tumptim chasing a green anole in full color. After some time, they made peace and went their own ways.
Speaking of green, it’s time for the return of the green quakers, also known as monk parakeets. I love hearing their chatter throughout the day.
This blogger got better photos mine – http://amateurnithologist.blogspot.com/2016/06/monk-parakeet-wild-parrots-of-miami.html.
The quakers have also been memorialized on a mural welcoming visitors to Wynwood, one of our mural-rich tourist areas.
Another resident of our yard is the crab or spiny orb weaver. One mail carrier forgot his/her pledge about rain, heat, and gloom of night one day; our mail was left on the front steps guarded by one of our spiders (you have to know they are the size of a pink finger nail!). I learned long ago that the presence of orb weavers mark a healthy garden. I love watching their intricately woven webs.
There’s been some not so local wildlife spotted these past few months.
The panda and unicorn were transient, only visiting for a short period of time. The “armadillos,” on the other hand, are our city’s latest attempt to mark bike lanes. I’ve not seen any cars trying to drive over any of them!
Other nature signs of the coming of the new season abound. Mango season is starting and many trees around town are full of these delicious fruits. All you need is one or two friends with a tree.
Another tree fruiting now is the seagrape (Coccoloba uvifera). According to the University of Florida, their fruits are edible; I’ve never known anyone who has eaten them.
Native to the hardwood hammocks of our region is the gumbo limbo tree (Bursera simaruba), known colloquially as the tourist tree; the tree’s peeling bark is red like the skin of so many foolish tourists.
I’ve included photos of my neighbor’s amazing orchids somewhere in this blog. He’s lovingly placed orchids and staghorn ferns on the spreading mahogany in front of his house. Mine hosts only a large tilandesia or air plant. For the first time, earlier this spring, it bloomed. How nice!
The bright and colorful bougainvillea that I planted when we moved here 20+ years ago in our own backyard is in full bloom this year. Did you know that the colorful leaves, or bracts, are not the flowers of this plant? Nestled in the colorful array are small white flowers. It certainly brightens our backyard.