Friday, July 5, 2019

Yesterday in Lake Worth Beach, the Stars and Stripes Flute Orchestra!

This is a short video from the concert in the City Hall Annex building. Enjoy!

Ending the Iguana Plague in South Florida: Everyone hope for a deep cold snap this 2019–2020 Winter Season.

Worth noting in Lake Worth Beach: This year is the ten year anniversary of the Great Iguana Crisis of 2009 which was no crisis at all for connoisseurs of fresh iguana meat on the grill! And yes it’s true, iguana does taste a whole lot like chicken.

Later in this blog post today is more about the 2009 Iguana Plague as reported by a Lake Worth blogger at the time, Mr. Tom McGow.

A freshly butchered iguana is delicious but a frozen iguana is a public menace. What happened in 2009 is iguanas sought safety in trees and other high perches to avoid predators and the dinner plate but when they freeze and lose their grip they fall to the ground creating a public safety hazard for people, pets and property.

As bad as the iguana infestation is this year in many areas in South Florida, next year could very well be much worse. Mother Nature in South Florida only has one long-term answer to solving the infestation of iguanas. And that is 2–3 days of very cold weather with overcast skies so the critters cannot warm their bodies up during the daytime.

When the temperature hovers near freezing on the first night it zaps the reptile’s energy but they can still hang on. On day two around midnight is when they begin falling out of trees which sounds funny but it’s not if it lands on your head or on your pets head. Or your car.

And then on Day 3 when the sun goes down it’s “Thump! Thump! Thump!” all night long. It’s not all bad though for those who enjoy eating iguana and below are a few new recipes. But for everyone else hope for the best.

Because if this weather prediction is accurate, well, we’re in for some deep doo-doo next Spring and Summer. The Farmer’s Almanac predicts a mild Winter in South Florida. That is good news for iguanas and very bad news for humans.

This 2018 iguana infestation was big news in the Sun Sentinel, The Coastal Star, and other press outlets. This very serious problem was first noted in Miami-Dade and Broward counties in the Sun Sentinel in June 2018 (see news below). Reporter Dan Moffet at The Coastal Star broke the news about the infestation of iguanas here in Central Palm Beach County as well. Here is more helpful information:

Ways to eliminate iguanas, news from WLRN reporter Nancy Klingener:

According to the FWC [Fish and Wildlife Commission], iguanas are not protected in Florida — except by anti-animal cruelty laws. It is legal to shoot them on private property during daylight hours with the property owners’ permission — but everyone should check with their local law enforcement agency about local laws regarding firearms before discharging them. [emphasis added]

DO NOT HUNT IGUANA within municipal limits of Lake Worth Beach or in unincorporated areas in Palm Beach County with a shotgun, rifle, handgun, crossbow, bow and arrow, blow gun, or any weapon that fires a projectile unless you contact PBSO first (or your local law enforcement agency) and find out what the rules are. More helpful information:

  • For the video, “How to Kill and Eat an Iguana” click on this link.
  • Recommended on this blog is the grilled tail with Wicked Okra and crusted Sriracha and also quite a delicacy are Iguana Carnitas Tacos using other cuts of meat from this invasive pest.
  • Here in the City of Lake Worth many iguana meat lovers call Hot n’ Sweet Mango Sauce “to die for”, an essential with any iguana dish.

    The news about iguanas should be front page news in food section too if you happen to be a connoisseur of iguana tails and other prime cuts from the genus Iguana rhinolophus. Iguanas are referred to as Gallinas de Palo (“Chicken of the Tree” in Spanish) and they are delicious! Really. It’s true. Especially when cooked on a gas grill because “Nine out of 10 professional chefs” prefer clean Green natural gas to propane.

    Iguanas, if you didn’t know, are not native to South Florida. You see them around because people buy them as pets and release them when the creature gets too big. The population of iguanas goes away after a deep freeze. Ergo, that sound you hear of something falling out of the tree and hitting the ground with a loud “Thump”.

    Sun Sentinel reporters Ellie Rushing and Doreen Christensen broke the iguana plague story in June 2018. A pestilence that has now reached Central Palm Beach County. Click on this link to read about “Out of control iguanas infesting South Florida”, an excerpt from the Sentinel by reporters Rushing and Christensen:

    South Florida’s not quite Jurassic Park, but it’s getting close.
         Packs of green iguanas are swarming seawalls, roaming yards and parks, and leaving a path of destruction and filth in their wake. Like a shot of espresso, the hot summer sun has stoked activity in the cold-blooded creatures, which experts say may be at record numbers.
         “This year is the most iguanas I’ve seen and I’ve been in business for nine years,” says Thomas Portuallo, owner of Fort Lauderdale-based Iguana Control. [emphasis added] He says the invasive lizards are out of control with “many hundreds of thousands” creeping around Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.

    The Great Iguana Crisis in 2009.

    What happened during The Great Iguana Crisis here in Lake Worth Beach is the stuff of lore and legend. Jeff Clemens was the mayor of this City then and it was during this crisis when anarchist Cara Jennings (a former commissioner, 2006–2010) rose to the challenge that Winter ten years ago. It was bad. Real bad. Iguanas were everywhere. A true plague in every sense. Unless, of course, you’re an afficionado of perfectly cooked and seasoned iguana tail, legs, loin, strip, etc.

    Back in January 2009 was a dangerous time for Lake Worth residents including a report of a Yorkshire Terrier being squashed by an iguana that froze and fell out of a tree. In a blog post written back then by the inimitable Mr. Tom McGow (see below), then-Mayor Jeff Clemens was quoted:

    “We are in a state of crisis this morning,”
    stated Lake Worth Mayor Jeff Clemens. “We will be closing all city parks until this crisis has passed.

    Dateline: Monday, January 19, 2009,
    City of Lake Worth, Florida:

         The chilly weather in South Florida this week was cold enough to force some iguanas to fall from trees.
         Experts say the cold-blooded reptiles go into a deep sleep when the temperature falls into the 40s. Their bodies basically shut off and they lose their grip on the tree.

    and. . . 

         “[Cara] Jennings has proposed shutting down the courts at the shuffleboard center and enclosing them as a haven for the iguanas. ‘I have already looked in to a State Grant Program to provide heating pads and lettuce for the Iguanas until this crisis passes’, commented Jennings.

    If you haven’t figured it out by now the ‘news’ above about Jeff Clemens and Cara Jennings was an excellent parody by the inimitable former blogger Tom McGow.

    But in all seriousness, 2009 was a very bad year for iguana infestation.

    So in preparation for this Winter it might be a good idea to find recipes ahead of time for cooking the “Chicken of the Tree”. For most people, if you recall, grilling is the preferred method.

    If you’re interested in learning more about The Great Iguana Crisis click on this link to read the entire article by the inimitable Mr. McGow. . .

    AND REMEMBER! If a very cold Winter is coming up and you have tall trees in the backyard keep in mind that highly unusual sound. . .

    It’s Dinnertime!

     The Iguana, genus Iguana rhinolophus.

    The pest, or as some people call it, dinner.

    Hope you found this blog post informative, helpful and entertaining as well.

    Here are some recommendations on discouraging iguanas:

    • Never feed iguanas.
    • Keep a water hose ready and available to spray basking iguanas on pool decks or boats.
    • A startling noise will also create an unwelcome atmosphere for a sunning iguana.
    • Hang CDs near seawalls or dangle them like wind chimes from trees or prized plants. Their reflective surfaces often scare away iguanas.
    • Protect plants with cages or screen enclosures.
    • Use iguana-resistant plants such as citrus, milkweed, pigeon plum, oleanders, coonties, etc., in your landscape.
    • Avoid planting iguana favorites such as hibiscus, orchids, impatiens, roses, garden greens, melons, etc.
    • Remove protective cover such as dense thickets and piles of landscape timber or rocks.
    • Fill vacant burrows with rocks.

    This FWCC link provides additional information on removal, deterrents and prevention of iguanas.

    Please feel free to contact the FWCC Regional office at 561-625-5122 to speak with a wildlife assistance biologist or an exotic species biologist.

    Thursday, July 4, 2019

    Have a wonderful July 4th!

    Prancing in Lake Worth Beach, begin the preparations!

    For the upcoming 2019–2020 Snowbird Season the L-Dub Prancers will once again form up near World Thrift located at 2425 N. Dixie Hwy., then prance south and tackle the two abandoned shopping cart obstacle courses to one of our treasured medical marijuana dispensaries, take a short break and a long deep breath, cross Dixie and start singing and prancing north past our one and only elementary charter school to Tacos Al Carbon for lunch and then spend the rest of the day shopping at World Thrift!

    How cool is that?

    For those of you unfamiliar with prancing:

    What is this sport? It’s called “Prancercise”,
    a novel way of prancing.

    Please watch this instructional video.

    Then there’s this variation on the theme:

    Start getting excited about prancing
    classes once again in Lake Worth Beach!

    Wednesday, July 3, 2019

    Today and tonight in downtown Lake Worth Beach.

    Click on banner to enlarge:

    What else is going on? For more news from Lake Worth Beach click on this link.