We have weirdly friendly wildlife here in the middle of the suburban sprawl that is South Florida.
I regularly see opossums on my back porch, well technically a Lanai, but I’m not that posh. I don’t think they know what to think of me, but I do my Steve Irwin act and tell them that I mean them no harm and they should go about their business.
Bad Aussie sometimes included.
Besides they eat ticks and neither me nor Rack the McNab SuperDog (TM) like ticks.
There are flocks of white birds that land from time to time and pick through the yard eating grubs.
Flocks of Feral Parrots making a racket in the trees. just after dawn and just before sunset. That’s the call to flock and it mirrors when Oscar the ornery Orange Wing Parrot that shares the house gets loud.
I give him a quarter of an orange and he’s quiet.
But the thing is that I really rarely know what I am going to come across.
One morning I was out back for the yard inspection. Every day, skim the pool, check the irrigation, and consider whether I can take more cuttings for propagation to build up the hedges or some such.
I stepped away from the house and felt something thump on my head.
Strange. The birds out there are not quite that bold. They yell at me, I imitate them and they get more annoyed, but they almost never get closer than ten feet.
It could not have been a bird.
Going by the bougainvillea and the spa, my head got thumped again.
Ok, something is decidedly too friendly here.
Turns out that it was one of the Monarch Butterflies that are around the place. I see one, at least, every day. This one must have thought that yesterday’s Apple Shampoo meant something in its little insect brain but couldn’t find anything to eat.
Try my brains. Brains good. I’m not using them right now anyway!
It fluttered around the yard and ended up on the Bougainvillea behind my bedroom window. He came to a landing and began to drink up his fill. I say he because he had the spot on each of the back wings that denote that.
“Hey you little bugger, go have your fill! That’s why I keep that plant there!”
I went back to inspecting the Rosemary that is starting to take root under the Bougainvillea. Pizza Spice for Ground Cover. At least it will smell good.
I have a constant churn of butterfly friendly plants in the yard. The milkweed regularly gets eaten down to wee sticks, and the butterflies lay their eggs there.
I’ve got Poinsettia there, but the butterflies seem to ignore that.
As well as other oddball plants, it’s an overfull garden.
Just the way I like it. I have never lived in an empty property where there is a question of how do I want to put in the hedges. I simply maintain it. Filling in where necessary.
The scent of Jasmine on the breezes, the flowers of the red Hibiscus, the Podocarpus all fight it out to determine where We begin and They end.
But plenty there for a wandering Monarch to land and eat.
And to thump me in the back of the head from time to time.