Saturday, January 09, 2010

Puzzler Revisit And FC's Coldness

Thanks to all who tangled with the video puzzler this week.
Below is a still shot of the same scene.

The feral pigs were fairly distant from my location, but I took one of the better pics and cropped it way down to bring in the rooters.

Pretty clear that they are pigs now, but that wasn't so obvious in the short grainy video.

All Florida feral hogs are of European descent ... although I'm sure that somewhere in Florida, there is probably a feral Asian Potbelly pig or two by now.
Either way, they are destructive exotics and do tremendous damage to some of our most threatened native species.
These are in Payne's Prairie State Preserve and should have been destroyed by the park service.
Ain't never gonna happen tho.
Park Services, whether state or federal often care more about fluffy sentiment than preserving the native species.

I won't rant too long on this, but ...

Every dead invasive exotic is a good exotic in the cold, hard FC view.

Seems cruel, but I'm focused on the big picture for Florida's environment. That is the silver lining of all the extreme cold this week. It won't affect the feral mammals like hogs and cats as much, but the exotic plants and cold blooded exotic animals should take a hit ... and maybe even the feral parrots too.
If this cold pulse can move far enough south and hover for a while, perhaps the population of water hyacinth, maleleuca, Brazilian pepper, burmese pythons, iguanas, cuban anoles, budgies, walking catfish, oscars, tilapia, etc will be reduced so we can try to get the upper hand.

I am one cold-hearted SOB when it comes to invasive exotics in my Florida.


It's a double-edged sword, this cold.
The price of winter veggies, citrus, and tropical fish may rise after this as they are all farmed in south Florida and all cold sensitive.

Here at PFHQ, my exotic, but not invasive citrus have taken a hit. They will recover as I only grow a few cold tolerant types,but they are NOT happy. Aunt Florence's heirloom guava is dead down to the roots. It will resprout in the spring. I never get fruit from it, it's just a reminder and a connection to my late aunt. (never get fruit because it never gets old enough due to freeze damage)
The banana tree is brown and with luck and mulch, it will resprout too.
Even the foliage on that giant bamboo I planted is nipped a little.

On the positive side, cold like this gives us rare chilling hours for deciduous fruit trees like peaches, blueberries, pears, etc. Could be a good year for my blueberries unless a late freeze zaps the blossoms ... which is very likely THIS winter, but for now, they are resting so it's no big deal.

Speaking of exotic species ... George Perry's 77 year old largemouth bass record has officially been tied in JAPAN! Ironically, OUR largemouth bass is an exotic there, and so is the bluegill that the Japanese angler used for bait.
All over the United States, bass anglers are gnashing their teeth ... especially the anglers with a backyard pond supporting a few female largemouths that they have tenderly cared for, all the while hoping to raise a fish over 22 pounds 4 oz.
Their plan is to monitor their fish until one is over the record, then don a bunch of name brand fishing clothes, hat, sunglasses, etc before grabbing a name brand rod and reel, line, and lure. Next, they will hop in a (you guessed it) name brand boat/motor, trailer,truck, combo and catch that fish.

Then you live off the product endorsements ... it's the bass lottery.
You think I'm kidding ...

11 comments:

Thunder Dave said...

Ok so technically we would be considered an exotic, possibly invasive species once we get down there! ;-)

How about if we promise to rid Florida of as many feral pigs as we can each year? I'm already working on some good recipes!

You mentioned European and Asian pigs, but I'm betting that some of them have Russian ancestry!

Anonymous said...

The good news, fewer roaches next summer!

TROLL Y2K said...

Nothing cold-hearted about your opinion, in my opinion. Is there some proof that a prolonged cold snap WOULD reduce exotics?

I say "Congrats Jap Guy!" and his well-documented record. It's always bothered me that George Perry held the record without credible documentation.

Deb said...

I don't think you're kidding about the bass fishermen...it's crazy. Our state bass record was broken a few years ago by a pro, and in every photo that was released there were a few strategically placed name brand logos. Kinda turns me off.

Dani said...

You are like a breath of fresh air! Not cold hearted at all. It's so very upsetting to see all that we love destroyed by the exotics and concrete.

SophieMae said...

I whole-heartedly agree about the invasive exotics. And I consider St Joe (as it is today) one of those. Reckon this cold snap might reduce their numbers? One can dream...

Sandcastle Momma said...

I read an article last night about people south of you finding dead iguanas in parking lots because they're freezing on tree limbs and then falling off. But... the cold only causes them to go into a hybernation so they aren't dead when they fall but hitting the pavement is killing them. One tiny advantage to paving paradise I guess.

Floridacracker said...

Dave,
You are unlikely to reproduce large amounts of larvae at this point so you sneak in under the radar. As for the pigs, eat as many as you can stand. Please.
As a side note, I think Russia fits neatly in to both Europe and Asia.

Anon,
Oh man! I forgot about them. Maybe those pesky flying Asian roaches took a hit!

Troll,
Yes, but Perry was a LONG time ago and he had a family to feed.
Cold weather offers temporary reprieves and exotic smackdowns, but doesn't end the problem. Any setback for them is a good thing.

Deb,
The whole idea of competition fishing turns me off. I'm all for records etc, but turning fishing into some kind of race turns my stomach.

Dani,
I wish I had a solution for the concrete, but anything I can think of would just get me arrested. Thanks for the support.

Sophie,
St.Joe is my nightmare, a giant forestry company that decides to become a development company. The cold doesn't bother St.Joe execs, their carpet bags keep them warm.

Sandcastle,
We have to look pretty hard to find the positive side of too much concrete don't we? LOL!

cndymkr / jean said...

Well I'm glad something good will come from this cold spell. We're much better prepared for it here in NJ but still - I don't like below zero wind chills. I'm hoping the squirrels will all die off.

vicki said...

Great post. It is harsh, but I agree with you about invasive species. On the other hand, most of my exotics are now tucked up tight on the porch under sheets. This is COLD. I left you a comment yesterday as I was lounging by the pool in Miami where it was 70 and perfect- but it was via my blackberry so apparently it didn't take. Something about a 3 Bear night... we watched the temp drop on the car thermometer as we drove through alligator alley, 30 degrees in 120 miles.

Ericka said...

not cold at all. i agree completely. i feel that way about feral cats too, and i have no patience with the wingnuts who spend enormous amounts of time and money feeding and protecting them. invasive = invasive, imho.