A Day in the Backyard

It’s been a while since I visited my backyard at lunch, on a work day, just to take some pictures.

I’ve been working from home for over two years and it’s been a struggle. I didn’t expect to be working this way when we purchased the house, a small golf villa, 18 years ago. When we found this place we thought it was the quietest little neighborhood in Broward county one of the most populated in Florida. It was nicely tucked between two 19 hole Florida style golf courses and there was absolutely no traffic on our street. If you have ever seen the show “Cops” it was developed and shows were filmed in Fort Lauderdale, around where we lived for almost a decade. Compared to living there, this neighborhood was “heaven on earth”. Add to that when Jo, my wife of 46 years now, and I was looking at the house there was a flock of about 50 wild bright green Quaker Parrots, our favorite, flying through the back yard enjoying life and raising the noise level of the neighborhood. That, right there, pretty much sold the house.
Even though neither Jo nor I were blessed with green thumbs the communal areas around our house is Florida fertile with sub-tropical weather so nature shows us much grace when we try to grow anything. We began growing Hawaiian plumeria a few years ago when my sister-in-law, a born Hawaiian, gave us several cuttings from her trees. Now we have several trees in the back standing 12 feet tall and still growing. They explode with color as dozens of plants bloom. The fragrance in the yard is sometime overwhelming.
One of my favorite colors to grow is purple. I’ve always marveled at purple or lavender colored plants. They make me feel so good just looking a them.
A fir tree that we planted a decade ago, it began as an 18″ potted Christmas tree on the dining room table, now stands 40-50 feet tall in the yard. It’s home to many squirrels and insects. Crows and grackles fly in and out all day long scooping up the bugs and worms.
It’s caterpillar season and they are everywhere chewing everything green. If “you are what you eat” I expect to see some bright green butterflies soon.
We often see A flock of doves spending their day snoozing on the cool ground between the plumeria trees. They often fly to the new chain fence provided by the developer who is now building new homes on the once 100 acre golf course immediately behind our house.  
40 or so years ago, back when I was part of the crew that produced the Citrus Bowl Parade in Orlando, I found a dozen miniature orange trees in pots growing on the balcony of Bob Snow’s Church Street Station, the corner where we had our trucks. They were in bloom and the fragrance that they produced hovered in the area where we were working and I fell in love with the trees. Not long after that parade I located a nursery where they were sold and purchased one lone tree in a small pot. 40 plus years later I still have that tree in a larger pot right in the front yard. It’s traveled from house to house with us in the hopes that we would, one day, plant it in a permanent back yard. Each season it blooms and produces fruit. Each year I speak to it and tell it that it’s going to soon have a real home. Today I spoke to it again and promised that this is the year.
If you are lucky enough to find a miniature orange tree with fruit, pluck one from the branch, wipe it off and just eat the entire thing. It will make your day!!!
I have my eye on you!!

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