Monday, September 14, 2009

Your Neighbordhood - Suburbs or Tropical Forest?!

Suburbs or Tropical Forest?!

I ask this question, because as I toured the areas around my neighborhood, it became apparent that there was no shortage of tropical vegetation. In fact, 90% of the houses I saw had some type of large horticultural display, and 100% of the houses I saw had at least something more than a lawn full of grass.

I had never before noticed just how thoroughly vegetated the area was. It's a quiet suburb in the oldest part of Cape Coral (which actually is only about fifty years old), but compared to some parts of Cape Coral and other suburban areas I have visited, this is DEFINITELY an environmentally conscious neighborhood!

Here is a photo of part of the front portion of my house. There are palms and other trees planted around the house. My parents have done their part to beautify our property.

Taking a stroll down the street behind my house, I came across the facade of one of the houses behind me, which as you can see, has a very Southwestern motif, with various cacti in the center and around the house. I am very fascinated by bizarre plants like cacti and their functions in the environment.

From the street behind my house there's a winding road that branches off into a small maze-like cul-de-sac. Here is a highly foliaged street in that area. You can see just how diversely the peoples' tastes in plant-life are in this suburb. Pine trees, different types of palms and bushes, possible oak trees, it has it all.

Coming back around to the other side of my street, I came upon this tree in one of my neighbor's yard. At first I thought it was a Betel palm which I had learned about before. But upon further investigation at and this site I found in a google search - - I came to the conclusion that it is a Queen palm, because Queen's are native to Florida, whereas Betel palms are more likely to be found in Southeast Asia. However, they both have similar looking, orange fruit.

I was disappointed that I did not find more wildlife. Most of the birds were nothing special, usually small grey birds, with white striped wings. I hoped to see egrets or blue jays, which I have seen before, but I am to understand that birds such as those only come down here during certain seasons, most likely in the winter.

However, I was fortunate to find some squirrels having a good time running back and forth on a power line that ran between some trees. Squirrels may not be very out of the ordinary, but some of the squirrels down here certainly have strange behaviors!

In the same spot as the squirrels were a couple of very fecund coconut palms. I could not find any type of gardening setup for sustainability, but decided that the occasional coconut palms in my neighborhood were about as close as it got.

I ended my trek a small ways down the road at the entrance to an out of business golf course. You can see the small pond that still remains. Surprisingly there was no wildlife that I happened to notice here, but the scene sort of reminds me of something one might see in a South American or Vietnamese jungle (less the power lines and light post)!

Clearly, there is no worry of complete ecological meltdown in my neighborhood. There's at least as much volume of plant life as there is of homes! Even so, I am surprised that less people are involved in cultivating plants for food, it all seems to be for horticultural purposes. Maybe some believe that there is just not enough space on their property or don't think that they have the time. I may have to change that! I feel that I am very fortunate to live in an area like this, and think that I may have to take more walks around my neighborhood.

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