Leaping Lizards, Cattle and Palm Trees!

I am happy to report I have not had a lizard leap onto me. However, as I sit working at my friend’s dining room table, I can see lizards leaping all over in the courtyard outside. They leap onto chair legs, flowerpots and…the WINDOW! I don’t think it would really freak me out if one leaped onto me, because I know they don’t bite, but it makes a person stop and think. The lizards here are like grasshoppers in Nebraska, I guess. You know they won’t hurt you, but you don’t want to be swarmed by them.

The flora and fauna here are beautiful. I know, if you’ve been following my trip, you expect me to say a few things about it, because Florida is known for its beautiful foliage and scary critters. Bonnie, who has lived here for the past 10 years, says she has seen rats, possums, armadillos and raccoons (the last one makes me feel at home). On a drive through a wildlife preserve on Sanibel Island off the coast by Fort Myers, we saw some beautiful birds, as well a few exotic birdwatchers with camera lenses at least a foot long.

I remember the bottle brush trees in California when I was young, and many of the bushes here give me the same feeling. They are lush, supergreen and seem perfect. It makes me wonder whether it’s just because they are all well-tended, or are they that way naturally? During our travels through the less-populated parts of Florida, we did see tangled forests of palm trees, olive trees and unfamiliar underbrush, so I suppose all the pretty plants are that way because they get attention. At the very least, they aren’t allowed to become overgrown.

North of Lake Okeechobee, it was strange to see cattle in the fields along with palm trees. I swear the scenery looked just like Nebraska there, except for those alien trees. The crop areas were obviously different, though. They were full of sugar cane most places. I admit sugar cane looks somewhat like corn without ears. But the stalks were planted too close together, of course, to really mistake it for corn. Then, of course, I had to remember it’s December and the temperature is in the seventies.

Nope, we are definitely not in Nebraska anymore, Dorothy.


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