The birds in this part of Florida have found a way around the cliche and we are thankful they have done so.
As we saw last week when the neighbor’s yard was regraded, and before the new sod arrived, the “soil” was mostly sand and there was not a worm to be found anywhere.
Yet the birds, early and late got all they wanted to eat, for their meals are insects so from now on I shall have no alternative but to work to death the phrase, “the early bird catches a few insects.”
The utter and complete absurdity of living in Florida can be ever so easily illustrated.
Last evening the neighbor’s dog decided it needed to express itself and did so in clear and loud terms.
The limpkins and gallinules in the wetland behind both our homes shouted back and based on my admittedly limited vocabulary of bird there were several four letter words and at least one upraised middle claw, for that language is universal.
And all of this was once Native American land and I am certain they would not be pleased at what we have created and the birds would agree.
The woodpeckers here seem quite content to beat their heads against palm trees, which I am not certain should qualify as trees, not a ring to be seen if you cut one down, but they tend to fall before you get to that point.
The most common woodpecker is the red bellied, which itself is odd since his head is bright red his belly with a pinkish tinge, but that is so Florida I suppose naming things for what you want but not at all what they seem to be.
I could go on but the ibis are upset that an armadillo is wander across the yard interrupting their lunch.
Despite my admittedly limted efforts I still fail to understand why people here have fallen so in love with plastic shoes, and more so, why they are called Crocs and feature a crocodile on the package.
I know one species of croc does inhabit this country, but almost exclusively in South Florida, where alligators are far more prevalent.
And in any event, if anyone in Niwot, Colorado happens upon a crocodile wandering about they should definitely capture it because Boulder County could use another tourist attraction.
When I was younger (much), I could wander Manhattan and be what any neighborhood required, so long as I stayed south of 110th Street or north of 155th.
I was Greek ordering gyros, Russian at the Tea Room, Italian along Mulberry and Canal, although in Chinatown I was just someone who wandered a bit far from the heart of Little Italy.
I could order deli at the Stage like a local, and complain about the pastrami no matter how lean it actually was, and lift a couple of pints at Tommy Makem’s Pavilion listening to trad music late in the night.
Now I walk around man made lakes in Florida, and cook the ethnic foods so lacking here, a bit of heaven, but really, Cheesecake Factory is not now and never will be fine dining.
If you close your eyes you can imagine that this garden was once a tropical jungle as imagined by some clever Floridian striving to separate more tourists from their dwindling travellers checks.
It has been carefully done over, plants native and ornamental replacing the vines and trees, the alligators, real and imaginary gone, now an exhibit of Lego animals, the orchids in bloom, and you wonder why anyone once came here in the old days.
I have never made a bagel. I have never jumped off the roof of a house to see what flight was like. I have never run a marathon or a half marathon. I have never owned a Ferrari, Lamborghini or Maserati. Or a Porsche for that matter. I have never driven a car at more than 130 miles per hour. I have never parachuted out of an airplane. I have never been six feet tall in my bare feet. I have never undertaken studies for a PhD. I have never attempted to swim the English or any other channel. I have never been to either Mongolia. I have never sat through the whole of Gone With the Wind. I have few regrets, but living on the Treasure Coast of Florida I do wish I could make a good bagel. I miss them, and they are nowhere to be found.
It is a sad fact of life that Florida has disqualified itself as a movie set for a vast number of films that will now go before the camera on the streets of some Canadian city.
No one is making films about drug runners coming ashore in teal and pink with a soundtrack by Jan Hammer, since the illicit drug of the moment is likely to be filming in the streets of Chinatown, and the Port of Los Angeles and a Wellcraft Scarab is no match for an 11,000 TEU container ship.
And for horror and noir films the simple fact is that even in the dead of winter, the palms will never look all that foreboding, and fake snow melts all too quickly, but we can hope that Beach Party movies will make a grand return, until then we just keep get along here in the heart of Margaritaville.