April 10, 2021

I - Iguanas

Iguanas are very common in Florida, especially south Florida, but they are not native to our state. They were introduced to the wild here by irresponsible pet owners turning them loose. They thrive here in our climate, and with a lack of natural predators some areas of the state are being completely overrun. 

Photo taken in Fort Lauderdale Florida

Unfortunately they are troublemakers. They destroy gardens, leave big messes on decks and pool areas, but even worse they tunnel down and cause severe damage to seawalls, sidewalks, and even home foundations. 

It's a shame, through no fault of their own, that they are now considered such a nuisance. Killing them is not only legal, but sadly it's encouraged if they are on your property here in Florida. :(

I happen to love green iguanas. I had one as a pet years ago. They have so much personality, it's like having a really goofy green dog. 

An interesting fact, Iguanas can't tolerate cold weather. They don't exactly hibernate, but they become immobile when it gets really cold and will often fall out of trees. They appear to be dead, but they revive once they warm up. Over in Fort Lauderdale where they are really overrun with iguanas the weather service has to put out falling iguana warnings when our weather gets really cold.

When we visited Hollywood Beach in south Florida a couple years ago we came across this scary creature...

Photo taken at Hollywood North Beach Park

This is a Black Spiny Tailed Iguana. Talk about creepy! There were hundreds of them along the bay. The duck in the background was squawking like crazy at him and scared him away. Apparently the duck didn't like him any more than I did!

More Life in Florida on the way Monday for the A to Z Challenge.

Linking up with Eileen at Saturday's Critters.

April 09, 2021

H - Hibiscus

Hibiscus plants are very popular in Florida. They thrive in our tropical weather. They have such pretty flowers and bloom almost year round here. This is one of the few plants that I seem to be able to keep alive (hiding my thumbs). 

Did you know Hibiscus plants are edible - both the flowers and the leaves? They are most often used to make teas, jams, and in salads. 

Hibiscus tea has been proven to lower blood pressure just as well as some prescription medications. It's also known to promote weight loss and is possibly a cancer preventative, among other benefits. There are some risks too, such as medication interactions. Be sure to consult your doc before brewing up a batch. 

Today I'm sharing a few pretty ones I have in my yard...

More Florida fun on the way tomorrow for the A to Z Challenge!

Note - I got my first dose of the vaccine yesterday and I didn't die or anything lol. I was so nervous about getting an immediate reaction. I sometimes have some weird allergic reactions that even the doc can't figure out. I made it through with nothing more than a sore arm. Thanks for all your well wishes yesterday! :)

April 08, 2021

G - Golf

Florida is known as the golf capital of the world. We have over 14,000 golf courses, no two are the same. The Sunshine State is one of the most popular places on the PGA Tour and is home to many of the world's best golf courses. Many of the golf pros are residents here as well. Golf is just one more reason on the list that Florida is one of the top vacation destinations. 

Photo taken at Smugglers Cove, Sarasota Florida

I can't tell you much more about golf since miniature golf the only kind of golf we usually play. It's a good thing too since mini golf is the only kind of golf we can afford to play on a regular basis - golf is not a cheap sport! If you are heading here for a vacation any time soon and are interested in more information about golf here in the Sunshine State check out Florida Golf.

More Florida fun on the way tomorrow for the A to Z Challenge.

Note - I'm finally going for my first vaccine today. I'm a bit nervous about it. I have my A to Z posts ready and scheduled to post automatically for tomorrow and Saturday just in case I'm not feeling well. Wish me luck!

April 07, 2021

F - Flamingos

Beautiful flamingos are another famous Florida icon that might come to mind when you think of the Sunshine State. As most of you probably know, very few Floridians or visitors ever see flamingos in the wild here.

It's been long debated whether or not flamingos are native to Florida. Turns out there is documentation that back in the 1800s there were thousands of flocks here. Overhunting all but wiped them out. As of 2018 it was finally settled, flamingos are now believed to be indigenous to Florida. Now that their status has changed, there will be more habitat protections put in place.

There is currently a large colony in the Florida Everglades and another colony that has been spotted in Palm Beach County every spring. There have been a few more sightings in recent years in other areas of the state as well. 

Photo taken at Busch Gardens, Tampa Florida

I would love to see the day flamingos will be strolling our beaches and landing in our back yards like all our other big beautiful birds. In the mean time there are many zoos and tourist attractions here in Florida where they can be seen and even hand fed. I guess that will have to do for now.

More Florida fun on the way tomorrow for the A to Z Challenge!