It’s so cold in Florida that…

Iguanas are falling from trees

How embarrassing!

So imagine you’re an iguana. You are just minding your own business, sitting in a tree in Florida, when the next thing you know, bam! You land gracelessly on the ground, having fallen from the tree without warning. In fact you are not going to even be able to get up and scurry away in embarrassment because your body has basically shut down and sent you into a deep sleep. One minute, relaxing in the sunshine in the privacy of your leafy bower, the next minute, spread out — a spectacle — in an obtrusive display of very public deep-sleep.

Photo courtesy of

Frosty 40’s = lethargic lizards

The Ledger reports that:

The chilly weather in southern Florida this week was cold enough to force some iguanas to fall from trees.

Experts say the cold-blooded reptiles go into a deep sleep when the temperature falls into the 40’s.

Their bodies basically shut off and they lose their grip on the tree.

to Collier County Domestic Animal Services control supervisor Dana
Alger, iguana reports traditionally rise when temperatures drop, as the
reptiles seek to warm themselves on asphalt surfaces such as sidewalks,
roads and driveways.

Most of the iguanas were once pets that got released when they got too big. The reptiles can grow up to six feet long.

Falling iguanas are just as indicative of winter’s onslaught, to South Floridians, as the first falling snowflakes are to

Photo courtesy FOX News

The oranges are coated in ice

The oranges are wearing winter coats — coats of ice.

It’s so cold in Florida that they have had to give the oranges an icy bath. When the temperatures look to head lower than 32 degrees Fahrenheit, orange growers, many of them pulling all nighters, protect plants by spraying them with water that freezes, insulating the temperature at 32.

Cold isn’t entirely bad for citrus though. The cold can benefit some growers because it slows down
growth and hardens up citrus trees. It also makes the oranges sweeter.

Even the tourists are wearing long pants

When it hits the low 60’s, Floridian fashionistas rejoice that they can finally wear their leather jackets and stylish coats. Conversely, tourists can be seen, on cold days in Florida, relishing the brisk temperatures by wearing shorts and bathing suits in temperatures that dip to 45 degrees. But once the real cold of 30 degrees sets in, even visitors from other states can be seen wearing long pants. They wear them as they sight-see, jacket-less, gawking at the natives sporting winter coats that would bring on a heat stroke if worn by a Northerner.

A Florida poem
Previously published in Steel Point Quarterly
Annette Marie Hyder

Mangrove trees walk in the unopened box of night.
At the edges of expectation
the surf pounds its point home relentlessly, sings
ancient mariner woes applicable to all
who listen on nights like these.

Something is coming,
something vast, on the wings of hurricane.
The palm trees tremble
frantic to their fronds —
lash themselves into tambourines of ecstasy.

Mangrove trees trail their roots —
the sight almost obscene to the unexpecting eye —
in the crocodile loved tide
seeking omens in the inverted
backward flowing sky.

One thought on “It’s so cold in Florida that…

  1. Iguanas falling from the sky

    Image courtesy of Jackie’s PageMy mom tells me that the leaves in Florida, which never do, have changed: a blushing profusion of cold bitten flush. And of course the iguanas, which have become proverbial as indices of cold, are falling from the arboreal sky.(Where she lives, in Hardee county, it got down to 28 degrees Fahrenheit last night!)Urban legend caught on videoWPLG Local 10 News reports:Record lows across South Florida are literally freezing the invasive iguana in its tracks.Kamikaze iguanas, plummeting from their treetop perches, have long been a Floridian urban legend. On Wednesday morning, Local 10 caught …


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