Monday, October 28, 2013

Butterflies and Bubbles Turn My Dog Into Jeff Spicoli

I guess in a way I'm fortunate.   I have this little park near the house.  It's planted cheek-to-jowl with native flowering species.  If you wanted to know what a South Florida Meadow could possibly look like, you would walk into M.E. DePalma Park, put yourself on a giant copper green colored butterfly bench and take it all in.

It is something of an exception in suburbia.  Unless your neighbors are making an effort to plant "Butterfly Plants", you won't see a lot of butterflies float by on the breeze.  We do, and the park does, so we have these gentle creatures all year around.

It is a rare day that I don't see a Swallowtail or a Monarch in my yard.  They leave me with a sense of wonder and I know that I am not alone.  Walking around my backyard "Cement Pond" with Rack, my McNab Dog, I was going through my morning introspective inspection.  Coffee in hand, dog at my side, I was checking the row of pots on the East side of the pool and noticed that my Mexican Milkweed had been chewed down to green sticks.  That meant that another wave of Monarchs had arrived a few days back and visited.  The cold weather up North means that we get their grandchildren here.

This sort of Snowbird I don't mind.  Finding some jade green jewels hanging under the remaining leaves of the plants, I vowed to find my leftover seeds and scatter them in the yard.

Yes, I am Billy Milkweed-Seed.   If you live on my Island, and you have Milkweed in the yard, I may have had something to do with it.

Straightening myself out, I noticed a floating Monarch in his black and orange colors.  It had just left the Bougainvillea, finished his meal, and was patrolling the yard like I was.  Rack saw him too.  He stopped what he was doing and sat down on the ground and watched the insect glide on the morning air.  His brown eyes got as large as saucers and I almost could hear him say "Whoa Duuuuude!  Awesome, Man!" as the Monarch came within a few inches of his nose to land on the Lemon tree in the pot.

My dog acts like a stoner whenever he sees these creatures.  I guess I can't complain, it's entertaining.  Watching my fearful dog go from noticing the sounds of the trucks a couple blocks away in mild fear to total fascination due to this floating orange and black pair of wings.

Awesome, dude, totally awesome!

Padding back into the house, Rack seemed to be in a mellow mood.  Butterflies would do that and the yellow and black Swallowtail that was searching for my Lemon tree to turn it into a snack seemed to help. 

I walked into the kitchen and spotted a pile of trinkets.  Hoping to entertain Mr Dog a bit more, I grabbed a bottle of soap bubbles I keep for this purpose.  Lettie used to attack them.  She would get one in ten, pop the thing and had a great time chasing the bubbles.   She was an alpha dog, anything that I did was great but it had to be in it's place.  Bubbles didn't stay in their place so they had to be nipped at to get them there.  One pop and she'd move on.

Rack is a much more laid back soul, dude. 

I picked up the little plastic bottle, pulled up the wand and gave it a puff of breath.  There was a cloud of bubbles that came forth.  Cause and effect being what it was, Rack sat down.  Brown eyes got wide as the bubbles settled gently on the drafts around him. 

Whoa, Dude, Awesome! 

The construction of the swimming pool across the street didn't matter, the airplanes overhead flying into FLL were irrelevant, my dog's world had spun down to a shimmering, gossamer sphere of water, soap, and glycerine slowly settling on the breeze.  Dude.

Where most dogs would have made a token effort to round up the bubbles, my Rack simply sat and stared at them as one landed on his nose.   Yes, now I had a cross-eyed dog sitting in my dining room staring at the tip of his nose watching the colors shimmer in the compact florescent lights. 

He's an amazingly intelligent dog.  Things he never showed any interest in doing with me, he retained from the first few months of his life when he lived with the people up in Rome, Georgia who turned him into an Owner Surrender.  He "spontaneously" gave a high-five to my neighbor Bill when he came over for a visit the other day.  But bubbles?  I guess he just never saw them.

Cool, Dude.  Bubbles!

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