Well, whoop tee-do. It seems we now have two new things to focus attention on besides the activities of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the impeachment hearings.

Yes, exceptionally cold weather in Florida and a warning from the National Weather Service to “be on guard for falling iguanas.”

Iguanas are not native to Florida, and when temperatures fall into the 30s or 40s, they are apt to fall from their roosts in trees and be in a kind of hibernation state on the ground. They may look dead but will recover as the sun warms the temperature.

Iguana lizards are native to the Carribbean, Mexico, Central and South America. They eat foliage and vegetation and find an ample food supply in Florida. They are not harmful to man, at least most species are not. Lizards blend easily into their surroundings where they hide from predators. Their habit of roosting in trees and falling to the ground in sudden cold spells caused the National Weather Service warning. More and more of these natives of the Caribbean have been seen in Florida since the 1960s.

Unpredictable weather not only causes iguanas problems, but several relatives find unusual weather of concern. One has fruit trees in his yard and has been careful to tend to them. He fears such sudden cold snaps in Florida might damage his crop.

Another fears cold weather could cause problems with her daily golf game.

A daughter hopes her furnace is in top working order with plenty of propane on hand.

If all fails and these folks can’t get an up-to-date weather report, they can step out into the yard, look on the ground under the trees, and county the number of hibernating iguanas.

With the many storms sweeping across Florida from time to time, certainly residents have experienced it raining cats and dogs. They may not have had all that many warnings about being alert for falling iguanas.

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Jack Simpson is a former educator, a veteran, an author and a law enforcement officer. His column appears each week in the weekend edition of this newspaper.

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