When I was a kid growing up in Boston, my father used to describe our strange neighbors as "local color." (Or in Boston-speak, local cullaaah.) Now that I live in south Florida, where all the neighbors are strange, the real local color comes from the flora and fauna of the tropics.
The variety of trees and flowers that flourish here is vast. Without much effort, you can grow palms of many types, flowering plants in a multitude of brilliant colors, and perennials that will pop up in new spots. The growing season is all year round. Only occasionally does the temperature drop enough to kill anything off.
The insects, birds, and animals that are attracted to tropical flowers and fruits are also varied and widespread. Some are beautiful, others dangerous, while certain species are just annoying. For example, iguanas from Central and South America are imported as cute little babies for pets, but once these reptiles grow to their mature lengths of five or more feet they are often abandoned by their shocked owners. With few cold winters to kill them off, the non-native iguanas are able to breed quite successfully in Florida's neighborhoods and parks. Just try to keep your yard vegetation flowering when there are dozens of vegetarian iguanas feasting on your blossoms!
Another imported pet gone wild is the Burmese python. These monster snakes eat mice, rabbits, raccoons, even small cats and dogs. They can grow to lengths of sixteen or more feet, and are thriving in the Everglades and surrounding suburbs. Imagine heading out to the local pool to swim and finding it occupied by a sunning python!
Florida has all sorts of other interesting imports, both plants and animals. The people are pretty odd too, lots of escapees from troubles elsewhere, and miscreants who (as we like to say) come on vacation and leave on probation. This is why I set most of my fiction here, in weird Florida. And snap a lot of photos too. Why travel when the local people, plants, and animals are rich in variety and full of surprises.
Cuban tree frog
I can't travel much now anyway because of covid-19 restrictions. But that's okay, there's always lots to see around here. I guess I'm enjoying the local color because it is strange—and strangely wonderful.
About the Author
Mickey J Corrigan
Mickey J Corrigan
Originally from Boston, Mickey J. Corrigan writes tropical noir with a dark humor. Novels include Project XX about a school shooting (Salt Publishing, UK, 2017) and What I Did for Love, a spoof of Lolita (Bloodhound Books, UK, 2019).
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Me Go Mango Anthology: Two Women Find Their Bad Selves
ME GO MANGO
Erin Monahan reformed her bad girl ways, only to discover the good girl act can’t save her marriage. Hiding out in a love hotel with a bottle of Two Buck Chuck, she calls for reinforcements. Her college friends organize a weekend reunion in small town Vermont.
Ellen has money from suspicious sources. Maggie seems perfect, but she's got a big dark secret. And Sandy's a mess—plus she's hiding something. When Ellen proposes the four of them go in on a business venture, a retreat for middle-aged bad girls, Erin thinks she’s crazy.
Then Erin meets Roberto, a hot Cuban chef. Soon she decides she doesn’t want the mango to end.
After Adrianna sleeps with her hunky boss, she has to face him every day at the office. She has to test the company’s software with him in the office hot tub. She has to ignore the fact that she’s fallen madly in love with him—but is her infatuation only a dream?
To make Adrianna's life in tropical Florida even more confusing, Davis, a geeky guy from her past, is stalking her—but only in the murky dream world they appear to share.
Something strange is happening to Adrianna. And it’s making her wonder about her dreams. Could it be that dreams are the entry way to another world? A real world? A hyperreal world?
Florida is lovely and the book sounds goodReplyDelete
Florida is lovely, yes, also strange...and attracts all kinds of people and other wildlife.Delete
Is is lovely to see Me Go Mango featured across the blogosphere. I really like colour, but am also very glad that I live in an area that has four distinct seasons. I like them all - with the exception of summer.ReplyDelete
Seasons do occur in most of Florida but only rarely does it snow. In south Florida, however, it is tropical so the season is simply one long hot summer...Delete
Oh very good photosReplyDelete
And very intereesting book darling
Ack. I don't want any part of those pythons. Other than that, FL has many wonders:)ReplyDelete
Wishing you much success with your book.
Thanks for the glimpse of some of Florida's local color. Just the thought of encountering a python out in the suburbs like that freaks me out, lol.ReplyDelete
I saw "Black bellied whistling duck" in my neighborhood.... beautiful.ReplyDelete
Congratulation with your book
It is so good that you can see beautiful things around you. Great post and so many nice pic <3ReplyDelete
ese lagarto es muy gracioso, siempre es un placer visitarte.ReplyDelete
I haven't been to Florida in about 10 years. But- I always love the flowers and wildlife!ReplyDelete