Back to Nature (Published on TBNWeekly.com - July 26, 2006)
Its worth the wait
Its midsummer in the USA. Back to school aisles are bursting at the seams
with bright colored notebooks, stacks of lined paper and assorted pens and pencils.
Uniforms are on sale at the malls along with those enticing racks of
childrens clothing 75 percent off. News anchors report that bags of ice are
selling at a premium; shelves are emptied of newly boxed air conditioners and
consumers are traveling miles just to buy a fan.
|Photo by Rick Tremmel
|The patterned white peacock
butterfly rests with open wings upon a flower at Walsingham
These are all signs of mid-summer and summer vacation about to end. Families all
over North America are cramming in every last minute of fun before the kids are
back in school, as triple-digit temperatures rise across the nation.
While most of the nation is scurrying about packing last minute picnic baskets,
slugging through sensational temperatures with umbrellas and coolers, fishing rods
and golf clubs, Floridians simply sit back and wait.
Floridians are more preoccupied with stowing away batteries, picking up an extra
sheet or two of plywood, buying bottles of water, cans of beans and tuna, matches,
tarps and beaucoup rolls of duct tape.
Our northern neighbors wait for summer to arrive while Floridians wait for summer
to be over. Weve learned that if we can make it past Halloween, the roof
remains on our house, were able to turn on clean water from a
tap, local trees are standing upright and the family dog is resting safely,
then weve pretty much got it made until next June. We can picnic, swim, golf,
fish, boat, eat ice cream, take walks in the park, go birding, butterfly watching,
camp, or simply spend a day at the beach or by the pool for the next seven
So with hurricane tracking maps in hand
While waiting we might get a crazy notion to venture out in the wee hours of the
morning to take a peek at the sun before it becomes venomous. We may perhaps throw
caution to the wind to walk upon a nature trail after dusk or horrors of horrors
take in a mid-summer sunset while swatting West Nile virus infected
mosquitoes, but for the most part Floridians leave their air conditioned homes to
get into air conditioned cars to go to air conditioned buildings or malls where we
sit in air conditioned offices, restaurants and stores and wait it out.
Assuming we have a house still standing come November, we brush the dust off and
get down to having some real fun, Floridian style. Its worth the wait. Once
the worst has passed, there are many activities available to Floridians: football
of course, sailing, fishing, scuba diving and wildlife watching, to name a few.
A rapidly growing, popular hobby is butterfly watching. Many species of
butterflies are attracted to our generally mild climate and Floridas
abundance of wild flowers year-round.
Back to Nature would like to take the next couple of columns to introduce you to a
few common butterfly species of Florida.
The white peacock butterfly (Anartia jatrophae) prefers moist environments
such as swamps, bogs and shorelines. The White Peacock Butterfly in our photo was
discovered at Walsingham Park in Seminole. These butterflies are very shy and
difficult to observe for any length of time. Their host plants are ruellia and
water hyssop. Because the white peacock butterfly is not a strong flyer its
rarely seen outside of its southern strongholds.
Karen can be reached at MyMuddyPawsStudio@gmail.com.