Friday, November 20, 2009

More Cold in Florida - Iguana Rainstorms

Now it really hasn't been "Winter" here yet.   Anything below 70 and the locals, and acclimated newbies like me become cold and grumpy and don't like it.  We slow down and turn on the heaters in our cars, and shut the windows.   Mind you, when its 60 in the morning, it means it will be almost 80 in the evening.   When that happens, the roofs come off the cars, the windows fly open, and we're all smiling because we're in just about the most beautiful place in the world.

Then 6pm happens, its dark and it begins to cool off and the cycle happens again.

We do get winter here.   But its a Florida Winter.   Florida Winter means that we get two solid weeks where the temperatures can get into the 30s, and depending on just where you are in relationship to either the Atlantic Ocean or the Everglades, it could drop below freezing.   Even near Ft Lauderdale. 

When the temps drop below 45, we have a strange effect that I call an Iguana Rain.   Iguana Rains happen because the reptiles that were eating your Bougainvilleas and Hibiscus lose efficiency in their muscles.  Since Iguanas are respectively large and heavy, when they lose their muscle efficiency, they have another problem - they lose grip and fall out of the trees.   Now animal rights activists may be concerned, but for the most part Iguana Raining from the trees will land and merely be stunned.   How you can tell they're stunned is beyond me since they're moving so slowly due to their cold blooded systems almost shutting down, they look dead.

You can nudge them with your shoe and they won't move.   You can pick one up and toss it into a trash can and they won't move.   You can startle them when you close the lid on top and they won't move.  All of the above happened with me the first time I discovered a four foot reptile on my pool deck.   I picked it up and thinking it was dead dropped it into the trash bin.

There was a problem with that.   It was still alive.   When the sun hit the trash can it warmed up (they're blue here) and the creature came back "to life".   I then had a four foot iguana angry and fearful and wanting out of the bin when I went back to it a couple hours later wanting to empty the trash from the kitchen and running in circles in the bottom of the trash can.

I eventually solved it by putting the kitchen trash down out of reach, rolling the trash can out to the driveway, then flipping the thing to let the creature out and run away.   I couldn't hurt them so I guess I'm a bit soft hearted that way. 

These things do literally fall from the sky when it gets properly cold.   A stunned iguana and a cold and grumpy Floridian make for a story that never fails to amuse my sister back in New Jersey.   She still doesn't believe they're free ranging iguanas in the trees here, but there was a picture a couple weeks back on this blog that was taken a block from my house to prove it.

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