Raining cats, dogs and iguanas?

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“Don’t be surprised if you see iguanas falling from the trees tonight.” 

— Miami National Weather Service

So THIS is how it ends? The day I get beaned by a falling iguana will truly be the end of me. Regular readers know I already have trust issues with the natural world. It’s so darned WILD. Bears are showing up in the suburbs. Deer are dashing into supermarkets. Squirrels are chewing up automotive engines. Coyotes are eating cats, dropping anvils and menacing RoadRunners. Now, as if ground attacks were not enough, we have nature dropping in from the SKY? Nature is not to be trusted.

Now, according to the Sun Sentinel “Temperatures falling… could immobilize iguanas, a phenomenon that has previously caused the reptiles to plop onto lawns and patios … The iguanas will just be immobilized, not dead, although the distance of the fall may not do them any favors.” That seems like an understatement. I feel strongly that this will also not do anyone struck by a falling iguana any favors. Seems like a lose-lose for all involved.

It has been explained to me by Florida native family and friends that iguanas often sleep in trees. When the cold hits and takes the temperature below the ’40s (for the record that is a January heatwave up north) their bodies go dormant and the immobilized iguanas rain down upon the streets — and people. From what I understand, if they land on pavement and survive, they can warm back up. This makes iguana clean up tricky I imagine. Imagine scooping up an iguana and it wakes up and tries to fight back? No thank you.  One report shared an instance where a man picked up several fallen iguanas and put them in his car. When the car warmed up the iguanas did too and soon woke up and were, to put it mildly, “very agitated.” I can guess that agitated iguanas, while a great band name, make terrible Uber passengers.

Unlike their aquarium pet brethren up north, these wild, frozen adult iguanas can reach up to twenty pounds and five feet in length. So getting beaned by one can be quite risky.  To quell panic (or maybe that is just me?), we are assured that the smaller iguanas are more likely to freeze and fall. So that is some solace I suppose. I mean if one must be struck by a falling iguana let us hope it is an iguana that has carefully watched its weight. A keto iguana perhaps? It would be just my luck to get hit by an iguana who overindulged on the carbs. I would be felled in my prime by an overweight, frozen iguana.

Of course, if we are taking orders I would choose not getting hit by a falling iguana at all.

People tend to hate on our northern seasons and varying weather. Let me assure you that falling leaves are far more charming than falling lizards. I’ll take a nice fluffy northern snow over a yard full of fallen iguanas. Do you plow them? Use a blower? Are they in drifts?

marked safe from falling iguanas

Prevention

Obviously prevention is key. Who is not dressing these iguanas properly? Do they need little sweaters? Safety first people. Do I have to wander South Florida like the proverbial little old lady who harangues people who don’t dress their babies properly?

“Put a hat on that iguana before it catches its death of cold!”

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Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless.

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